JerAx out, Fly in – Evil Geniuses revert roster heading into DPC Tour 3

Evil Geniuses has had a rough season this Dota Pro Circuit (2021-22). They lost to amateur squads, as team captain Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen admitted EG wasn’t at tip-top form during the first Tour. Evil Geniuses got badly eliminated in last place in the ESL One Stockholm 2022 Major. Which for EG’s record, never occurred in their Dota 2 history.

Coming into the final DPC Tour of the season, EG decided to shuffle around players in an attempt to revert to earlier form.

Jerax Fly Evil Geniuses

EG parting ways with JerAx

The first roster change caught the fans off-guard, given the established reputation of Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka. JerAx is well-known for his attention to detail as to his role in position 4 support. He does the most ignorable details in a game, which get overlooked so often. For instance, when he seemingly pulled the enemy lane creeps and blocked two jungle camps without any consequences. This simple, almost mundane multi-task was so irritating to the enemy lane as it disrupts the ‘lane balance’, where the enemy hero has difficulty securing last hits on the creeps under their tower.

JerAx’s debut in Evil Geniuses came with high expectations for the North American powerhouse to deliver. Unfortunately, after two unsuccessful Tours, EG is desperate to find the optimal line-up for the DPC Tour 3. If they do not recuperate from this after the final Tour, they still have the International 11 regional qualifiers.

JerAx and EG bid their farewells.

The rationale behind replacing JerAx

Given the poor performance at Stockholm Major, kicking JerAx certainly added fuel to the ongoing fire. EG received heavy backlash over their underwhelming showcase and many fans are calling for Kanishka ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosale’s resignation as coach.

BuLba has been with EG since the year 2017, and while the early years were glory days (3rd at TI8, 5th at TI9, and 2nd two majors), TI10 felt like the catalyst for EG’s downhill trend after they placed twelfth.

EG removed Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang and Tal “Fly” Aizik, which were reasonable at the time. However, many were still disappointed that there was no new coach to guide EG. The Stockholm Major and DPC Tours showcased EG’s stale drafts, which constantly revolved around their prodigy, Abed Azel “Abed” L. Yusop. At Stockholm Major alone, EG picked Abed’s signature hero, Storm Spirit in four out of twelve matches, while eight matches had the hero banned.

A similar trend occurred during the DPC NA Tour 2 too, where EG gambled their entire drafts on Abed’s plays as Storm Spirit.

Why BuLba remains?

Frankly, it’s still a question that many fans ponder upon. Fans are dead set on blaming the EG coach for all the repetitive drafts he put on the table since there shouldn’t be any fault in a line-up of such calibre, right? However, it’s important to note that Cr1t- is also drafting EG’s strategy alongside too.

Fly returns to EG after SEA stint

EG’s upcoming support Tal “Fly” Aizik needs no introduction. After an underwhelming turnout with Talon Esports in Southeast Asia, the star player returns to his “semi-maiden” organization for yet another attempt at TI glory. It wasn’t a surprise choice for EG to revert back to their old star. They found much of their success with Fly on the roster, and he is likely an ideal choice for fast synergy and picking up where the team left off on short notice.

We can’t really guesstimate how EG will perform next tour. TSM, nouns and even Quincy Crew are all on the rise, and we might finally be in for some stiff competition over in North America.