Valve issues gift-wrapped permabans to Dota 2 cheaters and smurfs this holiday season


The holiday season has arrived to the MOBA world of Dota 2, bringing gifts to all of its players. However, certain players who have been found cheating or smurfing (in which high-level players create a new account to steamroll low-level players, for those unfamiliar with the parlance) are getting a Christmas gift-wrapped permanent ban.

This present arrives to offending players as the Highly Toxic Lump of Coal, which is used by Valve to deliver the news of a player’s ban, though it’s also being used as a warning against players engaging in such harmful behavior. A demonstration of this creatively issued ban can be seen in a Twitch clip from pro Dota 2 esports player and accused smurf Mason Venne, which is opened to his hilarious incredulity.

To be fair, none of this should come as a surprise to these kinds of people: The game’s patch notes and holiday event landing site both warned that these gifts could be coming their way. “King Kringle knows,” reads the warning. “He’s checked your behavior score twice, and he’s coming with his ban hammer to pulverize the smurf accounts of all the naughty boys and girls, before handing out penalties to their associated main accounts.” Even so, it’s aspirational levels of professional pettiness from Valve and some delicious schadenfreude for onlookers. Merry Christmas, everyone!

sources: Twitch, Steam, and Dota 2 site via Polygon
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