North American esports organization Team J.Storm has seemingly disbanded both its Dota 2 and Fortnite teams. No further information or statement has been given by the team at this time.
Team J.Storm silent on social media
Fans noticed that if one searched the team’s name on the Valve Major and Minor Registry for the Dota 2 2019 and 2020 season, the list of players was no longer shown. Instead, it comes up with, “There are no players currently locked to this team’s roster.” In addition, the organization’s latest activity consists of retweets from its two former Fortnite players, dating back to January of 2020. The tweets have James “Painful” Garrod and Dawson “Tylarzz” Sherwood both tweeting free agency posts, with requests to represent a new organization.
Previously known as Team VGJ, the organization was created through an agreement by China Digital Culture Group, Chinese esports organization Vici Gaming, and former NBA player Jeremy Lin. With the end of the original partnership and new Dota Pro Circuit rulings, Team VGJ renamed to J.Storm. The lineup consisted of David “Moo” Hull, Jonathan “bryle” De Guia, Lee “FoREv” Sang-don, Milan “MiLAN” Kozomara, and Park “March” Tae-won at this time.
Since then, the team has retained Moo but replaced the other four members of the roster. These include Leon “Nine” kirilin, Braxton “Brax” Paulson, Joel “MoOz” Mori Ozambela, and Clinton “Fear” Loomis. However, these players are now listed as “business associates” on the registry instead of active players. In addition, the team is no longer listed alongside Evil Geniuses, Fighting PandaS, Chaos Esports Club, and others on the ESL One Los Angeles website for the North American Open Qualifier.
Is the Dota 2 esports scene unsustainable?
While no information has been disclosed, Team J.Storm General Manager Chandler Dent wrote a suggestion post in July of 2019 regarding the Dota Pro Circuit. This detailed how it is very unsustainable for esports organizations because they have a reliance on The International, with a lack of opportunities for teams that don’t qualify for a major or minor.
While the first-place winner of a TI event can win upwards of $10 million, most teams are stuck paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses for upkeep. It is even worse for North American teams because events rarely occur in the region, so sponsors aren’t as interested.