JerAx Explains Why He Chose Evil Geniuses for His Competitive Dota 2 Return
Former The International (TI) champion, Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka's return to competitive Dota 2 was unexpected, but what made it even more surprising for fans was that the player did not sign with OG. Instead, he donned the colors of Evil Geniuses to play in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) North America (NA) 2021-22. Although the specific details of his return remain largely unknown, JerAx did, however, elaborate on his decision to choose Evil Geniuses for his competitive return to Dota 2 in a recent post-match winner's interview. In JerAx's opinion, when he was with OG he thought about possibly playing with other people, and Evil Geniuses' Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen and Artour "Arteezy" Babaev stood out to him. Moreover, he praised the relationship he had with the team's coach, Kanishka Sam "BuLba" Sosale.
JerAx explains why he joined Evil Geniuses
The post-TI10 roster shuffle was full of interesting changes but JerAx's return grabbed everyone’s attention. Not only did he return but he also chose the position five role instead of his usual position four and joined Evil Geniuses instead of his TI winning team OG.
Following the team’s victory over simply TOOBASED in the DPC NA 2021-22 Tour 1: Division 1, JerAx came for the post-match winner's interview where he spoke about a number of topics in great detail. One of the questions asked, something which has also recently come up in discussions between fans, was why he chose Evil Geniuses and whether he had considered other teams for his return. In response, he said,
“First of all, we have come a long way with BuLba in the past. I am very familiar (with) how he approaches the game and we kind of like each other. We had no trouble ever teaming together and we appreciate each other very much, so that’s one thing. I think the other thing is in the past, I mean I was in OG for a very long time and I had these thoughts on possibly playing with other people and who stood out for me was Arteezy and Cr1t- back then. So, basically, it’s a lot of things lining up for me and I would say I didn’t really consider a lot of other teams going into this process of coming back to playing.
JerAx, who is returning to competitive Dota 2 after an extended break, also acknowledged that he is far from being at his best. In his livestreams around June 2021, the player had played a lot of pubs, but after that, he said that he only got back into the game one month before joining Evil Geniuses. Despite this, JerAx emphasized that his team understands his position really well, which is in line with the impression he had of these players before joining.
“I kind of saw a team that I see potential. I see that there are people who might be willing to go the long road into working on things and not like - two weeks and feel bad about yourself because JerAx is not doing anything in the games. I think they understand the building blocks of the team, the team aspect, and I appreciate that very much in them and at least so far, my expectations of what kind of players there are inside the team have been very close to what I thought from the outside. So, that’s been working.”
As a player who is new to aspects of Dota 2 such as neutral items, changes of outposts, Aghanim's Shard, and more, JerAx mentioned that he sometimes did not know what to do in certain situations. However, he was always able to ask for assistance from his teammates.
JerAx describes the issues within Evil Geniuses and hopes for a successful future
Furthermore, considering Evil Geniuses has not had the best start to DPC 2021-22, JerAx proceeded to speak about a key issue that the team is dealing with. According to him, due to the fact that the players come from different regions with unique playstyles and conflicting ideas, it becomes difficult for them to play together. However, JerAx mentioned that they are improving with coach BuLba giving them a clearer idea of how games are supposed to be played.
In his final remarks, the two-time TI champion expressed his wish to meet his fans again in future offline events. Ecstatic to be playing competitive Dota 2 once again, he wishes for some successful moments with Evil Geniuses in the future.
“First of all, I love fans and I wish to get to some offline events to meet them so that’s what I am excited for. I also don’t kind of know what kind of fans are EG fans so that’s what I am really looking forward to. I am really happy in the place where I am right now because it’s kind of an opportunity to do it again and I never really thought of it being a possibility again, but it was, so I am here right now and hopefully, there are going to be successful moments for my team, me, and everybody part of this journey. Let’s see what it takes.”
Evil Geniuses, with two wins in four series, will now take some time off and then look to bounce back stronger in its next series in the DPC against 4 Zoomers on 8th Jan 2022.