Russian streamer meepgor_off booted up his computer for another day of streaming Dota 2, but his smurfing earned him a big surprise instead.
Smurfing is one of the worst parts of online gaming, and every Dota 2 player has fallen victim to it. It’s often treated as a bad player’s problem, but it affects everyone from newbies to big streamers. Some smurfs profit off streaming their gameplay, but Valve also has the ability to manually ban them live on-stream.
In this case, Dota 2 streamer meepgor_off was showing off his high-ranked skills in low MMR matches on August 21. He was playing his apparently-favorite hero Meepo with a score of 47 kills, 5 deaths, and 17 assists. After shouting out an expletive in voice chat, meepgor_off was suddenly disconnected from the game with a ban message. His face suddenly dropped, going from confidently insulting his teammates to peering out from the tops of his glasses.
The timing of the ban couldn’t be better, and it may not be a coincidence. Previous smurfing streamers have been specifically banned while live, leading to some pretty priceless reactions. In the case of meepgor_off, Valve may have specifically waited so the Dota 2 streamer could be banned in front of his audience. His official channel has not streamed since the incident.
Can Dota 2 streamers get banned for smurfing?
Under Valve’s official rules, smurfing is against Dota 2’s terms of service and can result in an effectively permanent account ban. This rule applies equally to streamers as well as competitive and casual players, though Valve does not apply this rule evenly.
In fact, this is not the first case of a big Dota 2 streamer getting banned live. Most famously, popular American analyst and content creator Brian “BSJ” Canavan was banned during a smurf stream after daring Valve to do it. Fellow commentator Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier was also recently banned on his main account for smurfing on alternates.
Even with Valve making examples of big personalities, smurfing is still a problem in many Dota 2 skill brackets. Players from Herald to Immortal have to deal with bad actors, but the Dota 2 devs are constantly working on problems.
Potential smurf accounts are often locked in a special matchmaking pool with other smurfs, helping clean accounts find better games. Even so, smurfing is still an arms race between Valve and delinquent Dota 2 fans.