Dota 2: As new coach of Team Liquid, JerAx says his respect for coaches is now higher

Two-time The International (TI) champion and former support player for OG Esports, Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka, showed up in the post-match interview between Team Liquid and OG and revealed that he has spent the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Summer Tour coaching the players on Team Liquid.

Prior to becoming Liquid's new coach, Jerax came out of retirement in November 2021 to play for Evil Geniuses (EG) and made it to the Stockholm Major.

After EG's disappointing performance at the Major, Jerax parted ways with the team and was replaced by Tal "Fly" Aizik.

Since then, the two-time TI champion has decided to try his hand out at coaching and shared how the experience has been for him so far.

"My respect for coaches has been going higher and higher every day"

Jerax is one of the three coaches for Team Liquid this Tour. (Source: Valve)
Jerax is one of the three coaches for Team Liquid this Tour. (Source: Valve)

When asked about how long he has been a part of Liquid, Jerax replied that he joined the team since the beginning of the third Tour in June.

"I've been in the background for [Team Liquid], we've been working ever since the beginning of this tour, getting a lot of games in, watching a lot of replays together. Trying to better our game, however we can," said JerAx.

This is JerAx's first time coaching a team after spending eight years as a professional Dota 2 player. He admitted that the experience of coaching a team has been challenging but rewarding.

"I'm really liking it, I think it's very challenging, every day I feel like there is something new, it's like a new set of tools I need to learn and master," said JerAx.

"It's a lot harder than I thought in the first place. My respect for coaches has been going higher and higher every day."

Team Liquid has a massive Dota 2 team that includes not only players but also streamers such as Brian "BSJ" Canavan and Max "qojqva" Bröcker.

The squad also have two other coaches besides Jerax; William "Blitz" Lee and Mathis "Jabbz" Friesel.

Sometimes too many cooks spoil the broth, but so far it's been working for Team Liquid as each coach focuses on different things.

"All of us are coaches, we coach different things. Blitz is the human resources, I am the gameplay, and Jabbz is statistics and analysis of the game," said JerAx.

"We have a nice triangle of communication and execution and it's been going very well."

And indeed it has been going very well for Liquid. The team has swept OG twice, the first being their last match of the regular season and the other being a tiebreaker, to finish the Summer Tour regional league for Western Europe in second place.

As a result, Liquid secured a spot in the Arlington Major alongside Tundra Esports, OG, and Entity. They also secured 300 DPC points, giving them a total of 890 for the season and putting them in 11th place in the overall DPC rankings.

With a good run in the Arlington Major, Liquid can secure a coveted direct invite to The International 11, which will take place in Singapore in October and feature a revamped format with 30 total teams.

If that does happen, JerAx will make his grand return to the big stage where he won two world championships not as a player, but as a coach.

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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