EG Jerax – Return of the Godlike Earth Spirit
With the year coming to a close. The Dota 2 offseason has not slowed down. Like every year, the conclusion of The International brings a major reshuffle of teams to put them in the best position to win in the following year. Evil Geniuses are no exception to this. After a year of competition that saw them be invited to The International, as well as several finals appearances at some of the biggest competitions in the world, EG has still made aggressive moves to be in a strong position for 2022. It’s the type of bold moves that has led to EG’s success in the past. With that in mind, it’s worth looking into the new players that EG signs. This time we will look at Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka.
The signing of the Finnish Dota legend has big implications for EG. JerAx’s history in the game has been long and prosperous — dating back around a decade. He could originally be found competing in the Dota-inspired title Heroes of Newerth — playing on strong teams with future Dota-professionals like Wehsing “SingSing” Yuen and Adrian “Era” Kryeziu. Soon afterward, he began competing in Dota 2.
Initially JerAx played for a local Finnish team called Rat in the dark, playing as the support player. He then reunited with SingSing on the team QPAD Red Pandas, competing in several strong competitions. Throughout 2014 and 2015, JerAx played on several different teams such a 4 Anchors + Sea Captain, Team Tinker, and MVP HOT6ix. He not only gained a significant amount of experience in the different teams and players he competed with, but also showed his versatility and commitment to do anything to win by filling various positions and roles on the team. Whether acting as a committed support, a confident captain, or a calculated drafter, JerAx could do it all.
Near the end of 2015 is where JerAx’s career started to heat up. It was there that he began competing with Team Liquid — a team that would bring him his major tournament results. Playing Team Liquid, JerAx was noted for several strong results — winning The Defense Season 5, placing third at WCA 2015, and making the finals of The Frankfurt Major 2015 and The Manila Major 2016. After leaving Team Liquid, JerAx found himself on OG — it would be his strongest move yet.
Playing with OG had the best results of his career. After dropping out in the finals of two majors, JerAx won the Boston Major in 2016. Of course, as noted in history, what is most significant is how well OG would do in TI8 and TI9. It was there that he became one of the first two time TI-Winners.
JerAx joining EG is obviously a big deal. Having someone that has the ability to adapt to their teammates and find success in multiple scenarios is indispensable. At the same time, his incredible track record speaks for itself, and he will no doubt be a powerful asset as Evil Geniuses continue to make large impacts at big tournaments.