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JerAx / Valve

JerAx returning to Dota 2 as streamer, but is he playing pro?

One of Dota 2’s retired stars is set to make a comeback.

Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka has announced that he is set to return to Dota 2. The Finnish player announced the news on Twitter, but stated that he is not planning to return to professional play just yet.

What happened to JerAx?

The former OG support retired in early 2020 after an extended break following his team’s victory at The International 2019. He was not subtle when it came to the reasons behind his decision, plainly stating at the time that he had no interest in returning to competition. Since then, he has occasionally streamed Valorant on Twitch.

“I have no willingness nor passion to play Dota 2 anymore, and I have trouble fitting myself into my competitor’s shoes. For me the decision to pursue another direction is clear, and I have no doubts about it. I want to thank every single person from Dota 2, that I’ve met, talked to, or played with,” JerAx said at the time.

JerAx joined Anathan “ana” Pham and Sebastian “Ceb” Debs in retiring from the game after becoming the first back-to-back The International champions in Dota 2 history with career winnings of $6,470,548. He still sits as the second-highest earning esports player in history thanks to his two The International titles and two major championships with OG. He only trails OG captain Johan “N0tail” Sundstein.

Though JerAx was explicit that he doesn’t intend to return to competition, fans of OG immediately began speculating that a return to the team was imminent. This came with a bit of snark directed at Martin "Saksa" Sazdov, who replaced JerAx in the OG lineup:

Will JerAx come back to pro play?

JerAx certainly doesn’t need to return to pro play from a financial perspective as he likely remains a multi-millionaire after his two The International championship victories. He was also seemingly checked out on Dota 2 when he announced his retirement, which is understandable after achieving as much as he has at the professional level. But now that he's playing Dota 2 again, quetsions are likely to persist regarding a potential return to pro play.

For the time being, JerAx is set to be streaming Dota 2 and possibly other games. If the competitive itch returns though, he’ll likely have no trouble finding a new home.

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