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Dota 2 Redditors hold (fictional) penguins hostage in exchange for TI8 Compendium

Did Valve negotiate with courier kidnappers?

Bounty Hunter holding, uh, penguins hostage.

The anticipation for this year’s Compendium is so high, it’s driven people to (fake) crime — and Dota 2 fans are captivated.

Before major patches or release, the Dota 2 community, especially on Reddit, is known to get pretty antsy. After all, we’ve had memes such as the Pocket Riki come out of pre-patch funposting.

Right now, fans awaiting the release of the Battle Pass and/or Compendium, the set of DLC that feeds into The International’s prize pool. With it come troves of cosmetics, easter eggs and in-game tools that can either be bought or earned through mission grinding. So naturally, with Dota 2 having a hat-driven economy and community, players are staving off the excitement with funposting.

But this time, fans are going on a whole new level to ensure they finally get what they want this year: crafting a story of penguin kidnapping, at least until Valve releases some sort of news on the Compendium.

Not a “chill” situation

On May 7th, around 3:53 EDT, user battlefurywindrunner posted a thread titled, “Don’t play with me.” In it, they posted an image of five Scuttling Scotty penguin couriers, one of which stood with less-than-full health next to a Bounty Hunter:

battlefurywindrunner via Reddit

In the post, the user shared the following message:

Release the compendium and I will release the penguins.

For each long insufferable hour without compendium one of these little innocent cuties will die.

Don’t make a mistake of taking me for some amateur.

And thus, the slaying of the penguins began.

Fans weren’t sure if the user was going to go through with it, but later, they edited the post to send one more message, with two more images. One screenshot was of a dead penguin, totally-not-shopped blood at his side, and another captured four more penguins awaiting their fate:

battlefurywindrunner via Reddit

You test me again - you shall fail again.

In other words, the user kept their promise.

But last night, almost like clockwork (or, uh, Clockwerk), Valve announced something related to TI8 was coming the next day.

With one last message, the ordeal was over for the time being:

Birdies are safe and sound.

Soon, user hfbvm let fans across the world wake up with a newspaper headline spreading the good word:

“RIP Scuttling Scotty”
/u/hfbvm via Reddit

So, look. We’re not saying it’s because of the penguins, but nobody said it isn’t because of the penguins. It did reach over 2800 karma on the subreddit, meaning it was hard to not see. And those penguins are cute.

Troubles never end

But it seems Valve’s teaser wasn’t enough. Today, in the footsteps of battlefurywindrunner, another redditor is posting a sequence of stills with the penguins in bad shape, one-by-one, until the Compendium is released.

This time, user clockwerkx has made a full-fledged story, with viewers following a story of penguins, their kidnappers, a rescue squad and a caravan of no-good characters. With only four more penguins left, only so many more terrible things can happen. And what he’s posted on Reddit so far doesn’t bode well for the birdos.

It began with this image, captioned, “Bounty hunter selling penguins and pudge to alchemist on black market. Just release the damn book volvo”:

Talk about a rough journey.
clockwerkx via Reddit

Since then, one penguin was too overwhelmed by the situation and tried to get away — and was punished for his crimes. (That one’s a little too difficult and emotional for this post.)

Another image depicts life getting rough on a stolen ship, which is later crashed, unfortunately ending one more Penguin’s life:

Bounty hunter stole kunkkas ship but it crashed and one of the penguis tragically died
clockwerkx via Reddit

Does this story have a good ending, regardless of Valve’s actions? It does seem, after all, that the penguins have a bit more autonomy in this case. The good news is, it already has more of an expanded beginning, middle and end fleshed out, so you can check out the full album by clockwerkx on Imgur — no more spoilers in this post.

The bottom line is, people really just want to throw money at Valve, and they’re making it known in cruel ways. But Dota 2 fans on Reddit seemed to get a kick out of these sagas, and that’s what counts in the end.

UPDATE: The original creator of the Scuttling Scotty, esports caster and content creator Aaron “Humanist” Allen, thread has shown his appreciation to those involved with the high-level memeing in a Reddit thread, including a preview of his Scotty 2.0 courier.