Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka has parted ways with Team Liquid in the midst of the post TI6 shuffle. Jerax was part of the original team – 5Jungz, formed by Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi at the end of August 2015 after TI5. The team was later picked up by Team Liquid and rocked the European and International scene for one year. The squad was easily one of the favorites for TI6 but took 7-8th place in the end. His replacement has not yet been identified.
— TeamLiquidPro (@TeamLiquidPro) August 31, 2016
Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka has left Team Liquid after an incredibly successful year. JerAx was one of the original members of the team, forming in August 2015 as 5Jungz. They cruised through the year with stability and strength, carving a niche in the scene for themselves with their clutch plays and comeback games.
In an incredibly personal message, the organization bid farewell to one of the most popular support players.
JerAx earned the right to be considered one of the best support players in the world with astonishingly flashy plays in a position known more for quiet contributions. When you saw his Tusk snowball into a skirmish, or his Earth Spirit boulder into battle, you knew that something big was about to happen.
We would like to thank JerAx for a year of unforgettable moments, and we know that he’ll keep rolling wherever he decides to go.
Going into TI6, Team Liquid were among the favorites anticipated to take the event. Their early exit in the lower bracket Round 3 at the hands of Fnatic was surprising.
Teams have until September 4th to release players from their current rosters in preparation for the upcoming season. New players can then be added between September 4th-18th. The rosters will become locked on September 18th, at 12:00AM PDT.
Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka
JerAx is known for his Earth Spirit, by TI5 alone he had played over 500 games with the hero, at a 75% win-rate. The Finnish player was a part of teams QPAD Red Pandas and 4 Anchors + Sea Captain and stood in for Team Tinker just before he joined MVP.Hot6.
Jesse made his name in Heroes of Newerth, where he played for a number of teams including “Dirty Minds” (with Adrian “Era” Kryeziu and WehSing “SingSing” Yuen) and “Man the f*ck Up”/”KD-Gaming” (with Era). He started playing Dota 2 when he finished his compulsory military service in the Finnish navy.
He started out on Finnish team Rat in the Dark, as a support player. A month later, he was approached by SingSing to try out for QPAD Red Pandas, before being accepted as a full time team member. Following the disbanding of QPAD, JerAx took more than a year off of competitive play. He made his return to the scene when he became a part of the newly-formed Finnish squad 4 Anchors + Sea Captain, alongside Kalle “Trixi” Saarinen, Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” and Riku “Buugi” Fält. He left the team in early January 2015 and stood in for Team Tinker for a short period of time before moving to Korea to join MVP.Hot6.
With MVP.Hot6, Jerax qualified for TI5, eventually taking 13-16th place.
In the post-TI5 shuffle, a new team appeared on the horizon demanding attention. The team spearheaded by Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi featured a mix of veteran players and some lesser known talents.
5Jungz walked away with their first victory only two weeks after formation, when they defeated Golden Boys, 2:0, in the Alienware Summer’s End Cup Grand Finals, leaving viewers with a positive impression for the future of the squad.
Since then, 5Jungz has qualified for the Nanyang Championship, after taking down Vega Squadron, 3:2, in the European qualifiers’ finals, taking the one regional spot allocated.
One day prior to the start of the Frankfurt Dota Major Regional Qualifiers, Team Liquid was picked up the successful European team 5Jungz. The team has been directly invited to participate in the Regional Qualifiers.
When Team Liquid seized second place at the Shanghai Major after taking down Alliance, MVP.Phoenix and Evil Geniuses, they also captured the favor and seal of approval from tournament organizers and fans around the world. Since the Shanghai Major, they were directly invited to participate in ESL One Manila, ESL One Frankfurt 2016 and assumed the place of EHOME when the Chinese team’s invite to EPICENTER Moscow was revoked due to roster changes.
On April 24th, Team Liquid went undefeated into the ESL One Manila Grand Finals, but ended up dropping three games, along with the championship title, to Wings Gaming.
EPICENTER Moscow would be their shining moment. After two consecutive second place finishes at premier events, the European mix seized their first premier championship title when they edged out Newbee, 3:2, in an intense and dramatic series.
Once again, the European team provided some standout performances and breathtaking matches at the Manila Major, only days ago. After an almost perfect run through the lower brackets, Team Liquid was bested by OG in the Grand Finals, 3:1. Liquid ended up taking another second place position in a Dota 2 Major and then third place at The Summit 5.
They have since taken a 3rd-4th place finish at ESL One Frankfurt 2016 and a surprising 7-8th place finish at TI6 after being considered one of the favorites.
Team Liquid TI6 roster:
Kuro “Kuroky” Salehi Takhasomi
Adrian “FATA-“ Trinks
Jesse “JerAX” Vainikka
Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen
Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Borislavov