Cr1t- Talks About How JerAx Joined EG
The two additions to Evil Geniuses' roster following The International 10 (TI10) were unexpected even though rumors of them had floated around for a while. A two-time retired TI champion, Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka, was welcomed to the team as was Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko, a young and talented player from Eastern Europe who formerly played as the carry for Virtus.pro. This Evil Geniuses' roster started off well in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) North America (NA) 2021-22 Tour 1: Division 1, beating Arkosh Gaming 2-0. The team's position four player Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen commented on the additions of JerAx and Nightfall in the post-match winner's interview. In addition to talking about how they recruited the two players, Cr1t- described JerAx's current state as a player, as well as Nightfall's role as the shot caller.
Cr1t- discusses JerAx's current level of play and how he was hired
The return of JerAx to competitive Dota 2 was among the biggest surprises of the post TI10 roster shuffle because he not only returned but also joined Evil Geniuses, an arch-rival of OG, the team with whom he had won two TIs.
As Cr1t- noted, Evil Geniuses knew they wanted JerAx on board once he showed interest in playing with them. In fact, he (surprisingly) mentioned they had reached out to JerAx even before TI10.
“It was a long process honestly. The entire shuffle I think was slow this year. I think all the teams were taking a while to figure out what’s going on. We weren’t sure at all what’s gonna happen. I could talk about it for a long time but some of us had been talking to JerAx for a while, even before TI and he was kinda interested in the idea of playing with us and when we heard of that, it was obviously very simple for us to take that like that was something we wanted.”
Additionally, Cr1t- commented that he contemplated playing position five or as the offlaner after TI10, but he chose to remain as a position four player because he was satisfied with his performance.
Cr1t- also noted that JerAx could not be at his best mechanically because he had been away for such a long time, but he still understood things very well. The fact that JerAx was returning to competitive play after a long time, as well as undergoing a role change, meant that it would take him a while to return to his best.
Cr1t- praises Nightfall's skillset and describes his role in Evil Geniuses
Cr1t- mentioned that for Nightfall, the recruitment process took longer than usual since Nightfall is not originally an offlaner. Even though Evil Geniuses felt he fit the role perfectly because of his skillset, Cr1t- stated that Nightfall took time for him as he was also going through a substantial change.
It was interesting to see that Nightfall was in charge of drafting during Evil Geniuses' drafting phase against Arkosh Gaming. Cr1t- noted in the interview that the reason for this was that coach Kanishka Sam "BuLba" Sosale was with Nightfall and that he is why he was drafting.
“The reason why he is drafting is that he is with BuLba right now. So, BuLba has to draft on his PC. He is very vocal in game. He is not the one drafting, BuLba is the one drafting but he is kind of the main directing voice in the game. I would say that he is the link between us.”
During the interview, Cr1t- acknowledged the team has also had some rough scrims and would need more time to grow individually and as a team. Evil Geniuses’ next series in the DPC NA 2021-22 Division 1: Tour 1 will be against Black N Yellow on 9th Dec 2021.