Valve has banned the account of popular Russian streamer and known smurf qsnake.
Qsnake has a large following on his Twitch Channel with 166,706 followers and more than 21 million views accrued through streams primarily composed of his gameplay on several smurf accounts. He peaked at over 8,000 MMR a few years back and is currently an Immortal player.
That following and those legitimate in-game skills didn’t stop him from getting slapped with a permanent ban, though.
While streaming, qsnake’s new smurf account was hit with one of the infamous 19-year bans that have been handed out to toxic players and cheaters. Though the ban technically states that he will be allowed to return to Dota 2 on January 19, 2038, in reality it is likely permanent.
Recently, Valve has been making sweeping changes to improve both matchmaking and community interactions. The Dota 2 publisher has been aggressively banning players with extremely low behavior scores, boosters, cheaters, and account sellers. The publisher has also made moves to combat smurfing and the use of exploits to avoid losses.
The prerequisite for rank calibration was also revamped. Instead of completing 100 games, players now need to spend 100 hours in either normal or turbo games to unlock ranked matchmaking.
While the ban was being discussed, an anonymous Valve employee expressed sentiments about how the community forgets to appreciate their efforts in improving the game. Whenever Valve successfully fixes a problem, players will quickly forget and move on to complain about something else.
This triggered a highly upvoted appreciation post on Reddit acknowledging Valve’s recent efforts on improving the game. Valve has not always been transparent in terms of communication, but its recent moves showed that it’s eager to build a stronger rapport with the community.
The banning of a relatively prominent personality in qsnake spoke to how effective these efforts have been. Qsnake will be able to get back into Dota 2 by just creating a new account but with the new barriers to enter the ranked matchmaking pool, he won’t be ruining anyone’s MMR any time soon.