While other teams are looking playful at the event, Fear and company were strictly business, wearing dress shirts and ties. Fans still had fun with the look, and were quick to point out that the players looked like their office’s IT department. It was still a surprisingly unique look in esports though, given how teams typically wear colorful jerseys or even just random graphics tees to events.
The debut of business associates stems from the team’s current lack of a sponsor.
Business associates founder Fear was lauded for his time at Evil Geniuses. He is regarded by most fans as an all-time great Dota 2 player, and possibly North America’s best ever. He split from Evil Geniuses in 2018 and landed with J.Storm several months later. J.Storm seemingly ceased operations in January, and the former J.Storm players have since confirmed their free agency.
The team remained together, and are competing as business associates as they look for a new sponsor.
The team’s journey at the ESL One Los Angeles Major regional qualifier was not a walk in the park, despite being one of the better teams in North America. The team made the playoffs, but a pair of losses to Chaos EC kept them from qualifying for the major.
They took a spot in the StarLadder Dota 2 Minor Season 3, but were swiftly eliminated. Business associates lost its opening series against forZe and Boom Esports handed them a last-place finish shortly thereafter.
The team is in a tough spot at the moment. They started the season strong with a top-six finish at the MDL Chengdu Major and still enjoy good positioning in the Dota Pro Circuit standings as a result. That said, their recent placements suggest they don’t have what it takes to make it to The International 2020 as-is.