Dota 2 streamer Mason banned after opening Frostivus gift. cover image

Dota 2 streamer Mason banned after opening Frostivus gift.

Valve has found out exactly who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, and they’re banning boosters, including Mason.

With the arrival of Frostivus to Dota 2, players have been gifted a plethora of content, from new Sets in a Treasure, to quality of life changes, and even the chance to get past Arcanas. But Dota 2 streamer Mason "mason" Venne got a little more than he bargained for when he opened his chest: A permanent ban and a “Highly Toxic Lump of Coal.”

Each player this Frostivus received a free gift from Valve, reportedly based on your Behavior Score. In most cases, this gave you a free random cosmetic Set. However, after being prompted by a chatter, Mason opened his chest to find a Highly Toxic Lump of Coal and a message reading “Your Dota account has been permanently banned for Smurfing, or other violations in the Steam Terms of Service.” His account was banned until Jan. 1, 2038, effectively a permanent ban.

In a post on Dota 2’s official blog today (Dec. 14), Valve had outlined some new standards for smurfing, and hinted at this outcome: “Amongst other questionable choices, some bad actors are playing like jerks, ruining games and losing behavior score because of it, then hiring behavior score farmers to drive it back up.”

“Regardless of how you’ve been naughty, we've been watching you (not while you're sleeping, calm down) and we’re cracking down on all of it. Punishments will be handed out for all of the above, including behavior score penalties — and in serious cases, main account bannings.”

Later on stream Mason admitted that he’d used a service to boost his behavior score. This ban appears to be related to that.

Valve’s gives Lumps of Coal to smurfs and boosters

(Image via Valve)
(Image via Valve)

It seems like this was one of the most harsh of the punishments handed out, and Valve reportedly is handing out Toxic Lumps of Coal to other players. On Facebook, players were sharing their stories of unwrapping this seasonal gift.

“Wait what the hell does this mean? I'm literally in archon losing 15 out of 20 games. How am I associated with a smurf account? Does this mean that I'm partying with smurfs or what?” posted one bewildered player.

“What is this, guys? When I accepted my second account that was banned until 2038, I didn't play ranked, I was just playing arcade.” said another.

It seems Valve isn’t messing around with this new smurfing proclamation.

At the time of writing Mason was submitting an appeal on Reddit and Twitter, as well as one directly to Valve Support.

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