In a major case of sticking two fingers up to legitimate users, Valve is making major changes to DOTA 2. From May 4th, all players hoping to play in Ranked will have to register a unique phone number with their account. It’s being rolled into a matchmaking update which is designed to prevent cheaters and banned players from creating limitless additional accounts.

The specific aim here is to make creating a DOTA 2 account more of a hassle, in turn putting off some of the more disruptive players who may be tempted to set up multiple accounts in order to cheat and harass other players.

If you want to continue playing Ranked matches of DOTA 2 you now have up until May 4th to add a unique phone number to your equip. If you fail to do so, you will be locked out from queueing for Ranked matches. Phone numbers can be changed, however if you remove a phone number you won’t be able to re-use that original number for another three months. This is to prevent using the same phone number with multiple DOTA 2 accounts.

“Players using multiple accounts create a negative matchmaking experience at all skill brackets, so our goal is to add just enough friction to this process that the number of players doing this will be noticeably reduced,” explains Valve. “Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked Matchmaking.”

I can see this is a change that is going to rile plenty of DOTA 2 players. Obtaining sensitive information like your personal phone number seems like a totally unnecessary step in order to just play a game.

The news only gets worse from here as well. Sorry to all GD’ers from South Africa, India and Dubai, but Valve is totally removing any form of local. Ranked Matchmaking from these territories. Valve claims there aren’t enough Ranked players to justify Ranked servers in these territories. If you live in South Africa, India and Dubai, you’ll have to matchmake in another ‘nearby’ server. Good luck with your ping.