Dota 2 finally has a punishment for breaking items

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Watching your carry breaking their items is one of the most disheartening things in all of Dota 2, but now there’s finally a punishment for it.

The Dota 2 community is, despite the efforts of its best players, statistically toxic. From voice chat abuse to intentional feeding, it can feel like the worst members of the community never get their comeuppance. However, Valve has secretly added a new system to punish some of the worst offenders. Here are details on the new punishment and what it takes to trigger it.

Valve introduced a new ban system for breaking items in an uncertain Dota 2 update sometime in early August 2023. The new update will automatically punish item breakers with a matchmaking cooldown after detecting the breakage, and repeated offenses can even lead to low priority. It’s not clear why Valve chose to secretly add the update, but it probably resulted in some well-deserved surprises for toxic players. Even the 7.34 patch notes didn’t mention it.

In our testing, players are still able to break some items without incurring punishment. This applies even to big items like Mjollnir and Daedalus. We hesitated to narrow down the exact criteria to get a ban, but it appears to be caused by a certain percentage of a player’s net worth suddenly disappearing. Feel free to test the limits on your own.

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The new update may be a response to multiple high-profile incidents of pro Dota 2 players breaking their items in pro-level pubs. The phenomenon has even been dubbed “Quinning” after three-time major champion Quinn Callahan. It’s not clear if verified pro accounts are affected by this change, but it’s certainly a fair warning.

Is breaking items ever a good idea in Dota 2?

While breaking items is now officially against the rules, there are some times when doing so is the optimal play.

The most common occurrence is inventory management. Extra Iron Branches can sometimes block necessary inventory spaces, and dropping and destroying them can be more economical than traveling to a shop. The new rule takes the worth of the item into account, so don’t worry about accidentally triggering it with Magic Wand.

Breaking items can also reduce the cost of buyback, which takes players’ net worth into account. This was fairly common to see in 7.32 and earlier, as the second Roshan kill would drop an Aghanim’s Shard that could be unusable by anyone. In such cases, picking it up, dropping it, and destroying it was the only real play.


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