Couriers ordinarily fetch regen items, not five-figure prices. But this is no ordinary Dota 2 courier: it’s a hyper-rare pink war dog, with attendant ethereal flame effect.
The ‘pink’ bit is very important.
The dog is a legacy courier - so-called because it was discovered in a Dota 2 treasure chest by a player during the first few weeks after Valve launched unusual couriers.
Unusual couriers come in a variety of different colours, with a variety of different particle effects. Originally, their colours were determined randomly across an RGB spectrum - until the Dota dev team learned that a bug meant black couriers failed to show their fancy effects. Instead, they created 10 set colours for future couriers, and offered players a chance to paint their existing creatures a new shade.
You might have clocked where this is going. Pink was not among the 10 new shades, and so original, unpainted couriers in hot pink became incredibly rare and consequently collector’s items.
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This particularly randomised item-hound is an ultra-unlikely jackpot from the treasure chest one-armed bandit - the war dog is the most wanted courier type, ethereal flame the most wanted effect, and pink one of the most unusual shades an unusual beast could be.
One Dota 2 Redditor, ColtonisWright, suggests there are just four other pink ethereal flame war dogs in the known world. Only one other colour is more highly prized than pink - white. To date, no player has come forward with a ‘pure’ white ethereal flame courier - but gosh, when they do...
As another Redditor wryly pointed out - this is the groundbreaking moment when somebody’s chosen to buy a courier over a car. Can you imagine ever doing the same?