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Evil Geniuses conjure Jerax from retirement, hire Nightfall to complete Dota 2 roster

Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka has ended his retirement and returned to competitive Dota 2 play, joining the new Evil Geniuses roster. The international champion previously left his longtime team OG in January 2020, after winning back-to-back in 2018 and 2019, saying that he had lost his drive to win and compete.

“I wouldn’t be competing in Dota if I wouldn’t set the expectation for the team to be one of the best,” JerAx said, as quoted by Dot Esports. “For myself, I don’t see any other reason for me to approach playing this game.”

Also joining the team was former Virtus.pro member Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko. The news of their addition to the team was announced Saturday on EG’s website.

“Today we have the privilege of announcing the newest additions to the Evil Geniuses Dota 2 roster: Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka and Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko,” the announcement reads.

The roster

JerAx was famous for his Earth Spirit, Tusk, and Rubick play, while Nightfall is a prominent Position 1 Medusa, Luna, and Ursa main, helping his former team finish 5th-6th The International 2021 (TI10). Now with a new jersey, JerAx and Nightfall are sure ready to win more championships. EG’s new roster with Jerax is as follows:

1. Position 1 – Artour “Arteezy” Babaev

2. Position 2 – Abed “Abed” Yusop

3. Position 3 – Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko

4. Position 4 – Andreas “Cr1t-” Nielsen

5. Position 5 – Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka

6. Coach – Sam “Bulba” Sosale

Jesse extended his gratitude over twitter and ensured he’ll do his best.

The new members

JerAx reunited with former OG teammate Andreas “Cr1t-” Nielsen who became the captain of the roster. JerAx, meanwhile, fills position five hard support, a change from his signature playmaking position four support back. JerAx replaced Tal “Fly” Aizik, who moved to the new Talon Esports roster in Southeast Asia.

“Everyone is looking forward to playing with Jesse. He has a lot of great ideas about Dota and how he approaches the game,” said head coach Sam “Bulba” Sosale. “The entire team is excited to have him join us and we cannot wait to get started and show the fans our potential.”

“It was pretty much a no-brainer for all of us I think, he is an idol for pretty much any Dota player, even if you don’t play position four” Crit- said. “For me, he is one of the only players I would consider my superior. I always looked up to him and tried to learn from him. It’s nice to be able to learn from him side-by-side. Obviously, he is going to be playing a different role, but I have no doubt he is going to be able to do that.”

The other addition, Nightfall, replaced Singaporean Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang, who moved to Team Secret. Nightfall became EG’s new offlaner as opposed to his traditional carry role.

“This roster change to me is really exciting,” said Position 1 player Artour “Arteezy” Babaev. “I like the idea of a carry switching to the offlane as these two roles often interact the most, and both Jerax and Nightfall have a lot of fresh air and tactical strategy to bring to the team.”

EG had a somewhat unfavorable journey in TI10, finishing only in the 9th-12th place in the championship. The addition of JerAx and Nightfall might rekindle the team’s spirit and let them shine in the DPC 2021-2022 season.

The new roster will compete together for the first time on November 29 for the North American Dota Pro Circuit Tour 1, hosted by ESL.