JerAx Confirms He has Been Coaching Team Liquid Dota 2 Team

Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka, who was last seen competing in Dota 2 with EG in May 2022, has confirmed he is the current coach of Team Liquid.

Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, who was last seen competing in Dota 2 professionally with Evil Geniuses in May 2022, has confirmed he is the current coach of Team Liquid.

Although the organization has not officially confirmed the news, JerAx explained he has been in the background of Liquid’s squad for weeks.

He Wanted To Coach

JerAx is one of the most well-known players in the Dota 2 scene and a veteran ex-pro player. He started his professional career in 2013 with Rat in the dark and has since played for some of the top Dota 2 teams in the world.

His most notable stints included Team Liquid (2015-2016), OG (2016-2020), and Evil Geniuses, who he joined in November 2021, after he returned to pro play from his 22-month long retirement. Unfortunately, his stint with Evil Geniuses was short-lived, ending after just six months.

JerAx was let go from the squad in May 2022 after Evil Geniuses placed 13th at ESL One Stockholm 2022 and was absent from the pro scene. Or so we thought.

After leaving Evil Geniuses, JerAx shared his interest in coaching, stating that while he doesn’t want to compete in Dota 2 anymore, he would still like to be involved in the scene. The Finnish player has since not made any official announcements about his future but was spotted on Team Liquid’s bootcamp.

This led the Dota 2 community to start speculating whether JerAx has transitioned to coaching with the team. And even though Liquid and JerAx haven’t officially announced their cooperation, it seems the speculations are true.

Both team members and JerAx have both been very vocal about Finn’s role within the team. The news were further confirmed by Liquid’s head coach William “Blitz” Lee, who stated during the Position Six Podcast that Jerax and he were working on coaching elements behind the scene.

An Extended Coaching Lineup

With JerAx serving as coach of the Team Liquid Dota 2 roster, the team currently has three coaches, each with their own coaching styles – as stated by JerAx in the podcast. The former pro player describes Blitz as the “Mr human resources” and Mathis “Jabbz” Friesel as the statistic expert while stating that he is focusing more on the gameplay.

Whether fielding a three-man coaching lineup, each with their own style, is beneficial is up to debate, but Liquid have been doing fine of late. Moreover, Liquid have looked solid since the start of the year.

The team placed first in DPC WEU 2021/2022 Tour 1: Division I and finished runner-up in the Regional Finals. Then they placed third in DPC WEU 2021/2022 Tour 2: Division I; however, were fairly disappointing at ESL One Stockholm 2022, where Liquid could only manage the ninth-12th place.

Nevertheless, Liquid found their stride of late with a very strong showing in DreamLeague Season 18. The team finished the event in a tied second place with OG, having managed a 5-2 record with an 11-5 map difference.

Over the tournament, Liquid have beaten Gaimin Gladiators, Alliance, Tundra, Entity, and OG, while they lost against goonsquad and Team Secret. With a 5-2 record and a guaranteed top-four finish, Liquid have successfully qualified for the Arlington Major and retained their spot in the top division.

The Arlington Major will kick off on August 4 and welcome 18 Dota 2 teams who will compete for the lion’s share of the $500,000 prize pool and 4,570 DPC points. And given the team’s success over the last couple of months, it’s almost certain that JerAx will keep his spot as one of the coaches ahead of The international 2022.