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Get ready for the chaotic premiere of Midas Mode, an economic Dota 2 tournament

In this event, you need to buy heroes, pay for pauses and maybe do a few chores along the way.

Art by Hawf/via Moonduck.TV

Being an entirely free-to-play game, Dota 2’s gameplay and meta have never really found harmony with the whole economic theory thing. Starting this weekend, via Moonduck.TV, Midas Mode may be able to change that, bringing together the Keynesians and Monetarists, Marxists and Capitalists (though we’re not sure about that Capitalist, the dude).

Midas Mode is not just a tournament, but an economics-themed “macro” game mode with mechanics spanning the entirety of the tournament. Teams are gifted fictional currency, or “moonbucks,” at the start of the event, which are required for hero drafts and other tactical necessities. More interestingly, the heroes’ prices shift through the whole event.

A proposal for the event was made earlier this year via an extravagant YouTube video. Now, Moonduck has finally found the time, teams and manpower to run the event, even in the chaos of the Pro Circuit, plus the Thanksgiving holiday for American participants, staff and spectators.

From community chores to paying for pauses and even a mysterious bell with a purpose yet to be discovered, Moonduck has given plenty of reasons for fans to keep up with the action all ten days. We’ve got your start-up guide to what we know about Midas Mode so far and what to expect.

The Format

In regards to team advancement, Midas Mode has ensured plenty of matches as possible while and ensuring every match counts.

The four European teams will play within their region, as will the four American teams.

The teams and event will progress as follows:

  1. All four teams will play each other in a round-robin stage.
  2. The top team goes directly to the event’s finals.
  3. The bottom team is eliminated.
  4. The remaining two teams will play a match to determine the second finalist.
  5. Finals!

The Teams

Eight teams of international fame have opted into this experimental event—four from Europe, and four from America. The participants are as follows:

North America

  • Evil Geniuses
  • Immortals
  • OpTic Gaming
  • VG.J Storm

Europe

  • Mid Or Feed
  • Natus Vincere
  • OG Dota
  • Team Liquid

In addition, all eight teams have opted to donate any and all winnings to a variety of charitable causes!

The Money

Part of the charm and appeal of Midas Mode is the buy system through the event’s “moonbucks.” Basically, the entire event revolves around buying heroes—literally.

Before every game, the values of the heroes is calculated based on the general Dota 2 meta, as well as, eventually, the meta of the event itself. More valuable heroes cost more or less to ban.

So what costs moonbucks?

  • Picking heroes
  • Banning heroes
  • Pausing mid-game
  • Draft privilege (First/second pick, map side, etc)

This likely isn’t a definitive final list, according to the site, but it appears to be the core mechanics of the “buying” system.

On the other hand, there are a few things that will earn a team Moonbucks:

  • Randoming
  • Opting out of a ban phase
  • Bounties (explained later)
  • Betting on other teams

Basically, if you’re taking a risk, or going out of the way to entertain the community at large, you’ll earn advantages as the tournament goes on.

The Bounties

Unfortunately for everyone involved, the community will have a way to provide input for the event Before each day, Moonduck will open a thread for fans to submit “Bounty” suggestions, meaning tasks that teams can accomplish throughout the course of the game or match. If a team manages to successfully complete these tasks, they’ll earn some moonbucks.

From the looks of it, though, Moonduck is expecting some simultaneously feasible yet off-the-wall suggestions. They want them to be “easy to quantify and observe,” while also remaining “creative” and “entertaining”—giving the example of, “A hero with the Aegis in their inventory must die in the enemy fountain.”

The Schedule

Midas Mode spans over ten days, and which region plays varies by day.

The exact times of the matches have not yet been announced, as of the time of writing. However, Moonduck have outlined the matches that are currently planned:

Saturday, November 18

Start time: 11 AM ET

  1. Na`Vi vs OG (Europe)
  2. Na`Vi vs MidOrFeed (Europe)

Sunday, November 19

Start time: 1 PM ET

  1. Optic vs Digital Chaos (North America)
  2. Optic vs Immortals (North America)

Monday, November 20

Start time: 1 PM ET

  1. Evil Geniuses vs Digital Chaos (North America)
  2. Evil Geniuses vs Immortals (North America)

Tuesday, November 21

Start time: 10 AM ET

  1. Liquid vs OG (Europe)
  2. VG.J Storm vs Optic (North America)
  3. VG.J Storm vs Immortals (North America)

Wednesday, November 22

Start time: 11 AM ET

  1. OG vs MidOrFeed (Europe)

Thursday, November 23

Start time: 1 PM ET

  1. Evil Geniuses vs Immortals

Friday, November 24 - Monday, November 27th

Unknown

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated November 19 at 2:25 PM to include participating teams.]