Reasons JerAx will kill 2022
One of the main additions to Evil Geniuses’ lineup this year was the introduction of Jesse “JerAx Vainikka to the team. The addition of this legendary veteran player saw him return to competitive Dota 2. After being retired for nearly two years, the famous support player is back in action and ready to start winning titles again.
Some have obviously been skeptical of the return of this once great champion. After such a long time away from the game, it can be understandable that some are hesitant to immediately assume that he can be a difference maker for an elite team.
No matter how talented a player is, hitting the ground running in a world as fast as competitive Dota 2 is a challenging proposition. With this in mind though, let’s go over some of the reasons that JerAx not only will be able to successfully compete at the highest level.
Despite being gone from competing in the game for two years, it isn’t as though JerAx is a geriatric. There are many players that are just as old (if not older) that are still able to succeed at major international events. His former-teammate Johan “N0tail” Sundstein is only a year younger than him.
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, the captain of Team Secret, is actually two years older than JerAx, and was still able to help his team to a third place finish at the most recent iteration of The International.
The Right Place at the Right Time
One of the other points in JerAx’s favor is the fact that he is playing a position that has historically been favorable for older players. As was mentioned, Puppey is one of the players that has proved that older competitors can still rise to the occasion at the highest level of competition. Care to guess what position he plays?
That’s right: the support role. The same position as JerAx. It’s the perfect move for him — not only because there is a historical precedent of support players being capable of having incredible longevity, but also because it’s a role that he has almost a decade of experience with.
Follow the Veteran
One of the other points in JerAx’s favor regarding whether or not he will be able to help EG compete at some of the toughest events in the world is the fact that his veteran leadership will continue to be an asset for the team.
Looking at the other teams that did well during The International 2021, most of them had players of older experience. In addition to Puppey helping lead the way on Team Secret, Wang “Ame” Chunyu of PSG.LGD showed tremendous ability and guidance while bringing his team to the finals.
Something similar could be said of Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov of Team Spirit, given him providing some more veteran leadership on a very young team. Teams need to have strong and experienced players that have seen it all, and with Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang gone from the EG, JerAx perfectly slips into his role.
Image courtesy GosuGamers.