Dota 2 item trader PAADA has sold a Dota 2 courier for $38,000.

Here's the courier in question.

Here’s the courier in question.

The Dota 2 item trading market has grown massively since the game hit open release a couple of months ago, and what could be the largest Dota 2 money trade yet occurred earlier today. Using the Dota2Trade subreddit, user PAADA conducted an auction, ending it early after a best offer of $38,000.

The item sold was an Ethereal Flame Pink War Dog courier. For those who understood only half of the words in that last sentence, here’s a breakdown:

  • In Dota 2, you can obtain cosmetic items by the way of randomised chests and item drops.
  • One type of cosmetic item is a courier, a creature used to bring items back and forth from your base to the team.
  • The War Dog courier is one of the most sought after couriers
  • This particular War Dog courier has a special effect that is no longer possible to obtain outside of trading.
  • The special effect combination is one of the most sought after, which combined with how valuable the base courier itself is makes this particular courier very rare.
  • There are allegedly only four known couriers of this type.

It might seem like a crazy purchase to many. There’s a lot that could be bought with that kind of money. However, like the art world, the value of these items is dictated by how much people will pay. In this regard, the purchase is more than likely a good investment. Of course, there is a risk that Dota 2 could suddenly lose its popularity, but this most likely will not happen for a long time.

One of the images used by PAADA to sell the courier.

One of the images used by PAADA to sell the courier.

If you’re interested, Reddit user ColtonisWright explains exactly why this courier is rare enough to warrant such a price:

“This courier is a legacy courier which makes it so expensive.

Legacy couriers are a term coined for couriers opened within the first few weeks of unusuals being able to be unboxed. These couriers could come in many different effects, ethereal flame being the most sought after. The color spectrum could be anything from 0-255, 0-255, 0-255. Soon some people were getting black colored couriers, which would bug out and now show their effects. Then valve created 10 set colors, with pink not being included.

When they did this, they gave everyone a random color paint from one of the 10 so a lot of people painted their legacy couriers, not knowing they could never get their color back (one guy painted his pink ethereal yak to light green, which in terms of now is a 15k usd loss). So now every ‘legacy’ courier aka a courier not apart of the 10 set colors are VERY rare as they are each unique in their own way.

The Wardog is the most sought after courier type, ethereal flame is the most sought after effect, and the shade of pink is very sought after. This combination makes it extremely rare, and one of a kind. There are only 4 other known pink ethereal flame wardogs.”

Less than a year ago, it was news when a Golden Baby Roshan courier sold for the relatively tiny sum of $1,000. The item trading market has become a serious business, and it can only be expected to grow in the coming years.