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These are the most expensive Dota 2 cosmetics

Even though on surface level the game of Dota 2 is entirely free, the reality of our capitalist society demands that somehow profit is to be generated.

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A reality, that while not being a publicly traded company, Valve wholeheartedly agrees with. For this reason cosmetics have formed a central part of the Dota 2 economy since its inception. Cosmetics that due to supply and demand market mechanics, sometimes go for outrageous prices. As Dota 2’s cosmetics often are free to be sold on the steam marketplace to other consumers. Therefore we have curated a nice little list to enjoy, highlighting some of these crazy spats of digital capitalism.

The Dragonclaw hook

Starting off, we have the most classic example of a way too expensive Dota 2 cosmetic. Back in the far flung past of june 2012 valve released the Sithil’s Summer Stash, a chest that would periodically drop after completing a match of Dota 2. To open this chest one was forced to buy a key from the store with a small price of 1.50$, granting you access to one of the ten cosmetics that could possibly be contained in this chest. The tenth item however, The Dragonclaw hook was special. As this item would also change the animation of your hook ability when playing pudge with it, radical for the time.

However to acquire this item one needed to be exceedingly lucky, as the hook was a very rare drop to be acquired from the treasure. Combine this low supply of Dragonclaw hooks with the high demand due to its gnarly design and Pudge’s incredible popularity, and it was not surprising that its price quickly rose on the stem marketplace. In 2012 being sold for up to 200$, in 2013 when Dendi started using the item during his tournament games it skyrocketed to a price of 1000$ dollars. Still a very sought after item, its price now sits comfortably at around 800$ dollars on the steam marketplace.

The Genuine Imperial Flame Swords Pack

Now that we know how incredible demand can drive up an item’s price to crazy heights, let me show what happens with an item that has barely any supply. Back in November of 2014 Valve decided they wanted to challenge League of Legends’ incredible popularity in south korea. They partnered up with Nexon to set up some top notch servers, and they also released some exclusive items that would only drop when playing on these servers.

This attempt was a total flop however, as there were still barely any Korean Dota 2 players to be found. Nonetheless, with the korean servers having an incredibly low number of players, this also meant that these exclusive items barely ever dropped. Making them so rare that an item like the Genuine Imperial Flame Swords Pack now still sells for up to 1000$

Ursa’s Alpine Stalker Set

Oftentimes these incredibly rare sets are created because of Valve’s unfortunate mistakes. For you see, back in the day Valve used to have very strict policies in what kind of sets were allowed to be released. For example, sets needed to thematically fit with the hero’s they were made for. For this reason a hero like dragon knight was never allowed to have a set where he is wearing a lobster costume, as this wouldn’t make sense in the world of Dota 2.

For this reason, Ursa’s Alpine Stalker Set where he wears traditional Austrian lederhosen, shouldn’t have been allowed to be sold. However Valve did initially feature this set in their store for a short period of time, before taking it down due to complaints that it didn’t fit the hero. People who already bought the set however, could still keep it. Making the few people that decide to buy this item in the short time that it was available suddenly be in possession of an incredibly rare item. Due to its rarity and interesting story the item is still very valuable to this day. Currently being sold on the market for prices around 1.200$

Emblems and baby roshans

After all these examples of accidentally created scarcity leading to outrages prices, Valve recently decided to use this to their advantage. During events like Diretide and The international Valve has made it a habit to release one super rare item to be gained from their treasures. These more often than not being Emblems and Baby roshans. Items that are so rare that they get sold on the market for prices over the 1000$.

As long as the reality of supply and demand dictates the prices for these items, we probably won’t see them go down soon. Making it so that people will keep having an incentive to buy way too many treasures, gambling for that 1000$ item, and making incredible amounts of cold hard cash appear in the pockets of Gabe Newell himself.

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Image Credit: Valve