North America’s top Dota 2 team, Evil Geniuses, have managed to overhaul their roster with two key pick-ups. How will this new roster fare against the competition?
Just a few days ago, the deadline for roster lock-ins for Dota 2’s next DPC season has ended, bringing with it a surprising number of roster moves and changes that is sure to shake up the game at the highest competitive level. Today, we’ll be taking a look at Evil Geniuses, whose performance at TI10 left much to be desired. Their placement led to some radical changes within the roster, as longtime captain Tal “Fly” Aizik leaves his post and a very surprising replacement comes in his place.
Evil Geniuses Dota 2 roster
- Artour “Arteezy” Babaev (position 1)
- Abed “Abed” Yusop (mid-laner)
- Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko (off-laner)
- Andreas “Cr1t-” Nielsen (soft support)
- Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka (hard support)
At a glance
With this roster’s announcement comes a shocking double revelation: JerAx, considered one of the best players of all time, is finally making a return to Dota 2, but it will not be with his two-time championship teammates OG. Instead, JerAx will be taking a hard support role for Evil Geniuses, OG’s old-school rival. This roster shake-up was one of the most interesting in this new DPC season, as JerAx has not been playing competitively (or personally) for quite some time; in fact, he has been seen playing on a 6.5k MMR account, a relatively low number compared to the regular Dota 2 professional player.
Veterancy, with new blood to support
Lack of practice aside, there is no doubt that JerAx will bring something incredibly strong to Evil Geniuses, if only speaking purely from experience and game sense. While Anathan “ana” Pham may have been a stand-out and incredibly mechanical player who managed to help OG achieve back-to-back TIs, it is arguable that it was JerAx and his overall game sense and playmaking knowledge that helped the team be cemented as the stuff of legends. The question on how JerAx settles into this role will mostly be a matter of ‘when,’ rather than ‘if.’
That said, it’s also important to look at EG’s other pick-up, which is Nightfall, who previously played with Virtus.pro. However, his position there is very different from the off-laner role he is now taking, which has posed issues for EG and other teams in general before. It will be interesting to see how Nightfall can grow into this role, as he was quite the excellent position 1 back when he was playing for VP. Can he provide the same space making capabilities as former off-laner Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang did for Arteezy?
So many questions for this new Evil Geniuses Dota 2 roster, and only time will tell if their new additions can give them the edge they need for a second TI title.