JerAx and KuroKy with Team Liquid at the Epicenter 2016


JerAx Explains Why KuroKy Is His Favorite Dota Player

Rakshak Kathuria
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During the We Say Things podcast #150, Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka revealed that Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi who kickstarted his career at Team Liquid in 2015-16 was his favorite player.
At that time, JerAx did not realize the impact KuroKy made, but he was like a "father figure" to him and his teammates at Team Liquid.
In describing KuroKy's competitiveness as a player and his overall attitude towards life, JerAx said he learned a great deal from him.

Having played alongside many highly distinguished Dota 2 players throughout his career, especially during the 2018 and 2019 OG era, former The International (TI) champion Jesse "JerAx” Vainikka revealed his favorite player. Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi who kickstarted his career at Team Liquid in 2015-16, was the player who came on top of JerAx’s list. At the time, JerAx did not understand KuroKy's impact too much, but now he realizes that there were invaluable lessons both professionally as well as personally. In regards to the way KuroKy approached life, he raised the bar with which they played the game, and JerAx really admired that.

JerAx appreciates KuroKy’s outlook toward Dota 2 and life

JerAx and others present were asked to name their favorite players on the We Say Things podcast #150, which was recorded live at the ESL One Stockholm Major 2022.

Acknowledging that he was biased, JerAx mentioned KuroKy as his favorite player, stating that he was a "father figure" for him and his teammates during his time with Team Liquid.

“I am biased for sure - no doubt about it. Personally, for my career launching, Kuro was definitely the person who I would say at the time I was teaming with him, I maybe didn’t understand how impactful he was for my career, but I felt he was like a father figure for most of us in the team, in Team Liquid - talking about 2015-16. And I feel he thought a lot about not just the game but human interaction and how a person should look at life.”

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While JerAx had been playing in various Dota 2 teams since 2013, it was during his time with Team Liquid from 2015 to 2016 when he built his reputation as an extremely talented support player.

During the podcast, JerAx spoke about being an ignorant player at that time who resisted feedback but evolved into one who eventually learned more than just the game with lessons from KuroKy.

“I feel like it’s really hard to share what he taught me exactly but I was very focused on the game and I think he raised the bar of - it’s not just the game but it’s really how you feel and what you believe in. I feel he taught me a lot of lessons about life, and I was just an ignorant player resisting all the feedback, never felt like being criticized and all that and I was probably very toxic, but he carried on and years after that I have been looking back to those moments and he taught me a lot. And he has had an incredible career as a player.”

During his time with KuroKy, JerAx feels he had developed his personality to a great degree, but he also spoke highly of KuroKy's competitiveness.

“He’s like secretively the most competitive person. People don’t realize it. He doesn’t necessarily show it like - the passion but he still is very hungry after all these years and he’s very committed to this game with his life. So, I appreciate that very much about him,” JerAx said, recollecting a recent conversation about KuroKy he had with another professional player.

Additionally, other members present on the podcast shared their favorite players. Shannon "SUNSfan" Scotten named Johan "N0tail" Sundstein while Janne "Gorgc" Stefanovski named Sébastien "Ceb" Debs.

Currently, JerAx is looking for either a role as a coach or as a member of a team in the position four/five role. In the wake of Evil Geniuses’ poor performance at the Stockholm Major 2022, he recently parted ways with the team. As a player, JerAx has until 29th May (Sunday) to find a new team.

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Rakshak is an undergrad, an inquisitive person who likes to acquire information and knowledge of varied sectors in esports. However, his current focus is specifically on Dota 2.