Matchmaking has long perplexed online games, particularly MOBAs, and when you deal with a MOBA as massive as Dota 2, with 113 heroes each with unique skills and roles, that conundrum counts double. But Valve just made major strides to fix this problem, bringing back a feature three years gone: solo queue.
Once again you can opt to be matched with and against nine other people who are not in parties. This makes the matchmaking experience overall a lot better for people in solo queue, because you'll no longer be matched with a three- or four-stack of people who will pick poorly and blame you for your troubles. Likewise, you won't get matched against a five-stack of people who are training for The International for example.
This update comes as Valve also looks to crack down on Smurfing. Starting on May 4th, only accounts that have a valid phone number attached to them will be able to play ranked in Dota 2. While this may raise some privacy concerns, those haven't been brought up just yet, as everyone is more happy that people will have a harder time ruining their ranked matches.
They also targeted smurfing via parties. If your solo MMR is higher than your party MMR, you're group will be given an overall higher MMR, making it more difficult for people to queue with lower-skill players to get easy wins.
Most of the update went live today. The phone number policy will have a two-week delay to allow people time to update their accounts.