Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with Echo Fox’s Henrik “Froggen” Hansen during Week 1 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS). They talked about starting 2-0, physical conditioning and Echo Fox’s decision to scrim only its own teams.
Andrew Kim: First off, congratulations. You’re certainly starting the summer split with a good start. I’m sure there was a lot of attention to you guys and pressure as well to perform with the news surrounding Echo Fox. I want to ask about your thought process or mentality before you started your match today.
Henrik “Froggen” Hansen: For me, I just kind of went out there and was like “Well, I know what I have to do in the game, I know what I can do, so I’m just gonna go out and do it, just gonna go out and try to enjoy it.” I still think it’s super fun to be in the LCS and just play games every week against other pro players. I don’t know. It’s just so enjoyable. For me, it was pretty straightforward and simple.
AK: Today you certainly showed a very strong performance in the mid lane. Game 1 as LeBlanc, Game 2 as Lucian. It was really really interesting to see you do so well on super carry champions. As a person who’s most well known for champions like Anivia, is it more refreshing or more fun when you get to play those kind of champions in competitive games?
HH: I actually enjoy playing both styles. It just seems like people think that a player only has one play style and they are incapable of changing it up. So while I’m known for Anivia, Lux, and those of things in Season 2, it’s like well, it’s just kind of wave clear and waiting for stuff to happen. I feel like people get the wrong perception of what kind of player I really am because I see myself as pretty versatile. I play a lot of the assassin champions. It’s been my most played in solo queue for four or five seasons now, so I don’t really feel like there’s anything I can’t play. You put time and practice into one champion or a couple of champions and learn them. The rest is just knowledge on how you want to play out the game whatever you decide to do as a team. I feel like any player can play any champion as long as they put time into it.
AK: The regimen of professional players has changed drastically over the past couple of years. For instance, a lot of teams or players are promoting going to gyms for better health, and different players are going through different avenues to prevent burnout. What do you do during your downtime to make sure you’re at peak conditioning before you go into a competitive game?
HH: For me, I do go to the gym, but it’s not something I’m forced to do. I enjoy going to the gym. It started last summer split, so a year ago now, when we got the new coaches, they had gym people so they just taught me a lot about it and what to do and stuff, so it was really easy to transition just going to the gym. Obviously, last split didn’t go well, so I needed to de-stress in the gym a lot. So it all just sounded really natural for me. We also have yoga if we want to do it. We can go hiking to kind of just calm down and de-stress. We don’t have to be in this high pressure environment all the time. It is really important just to enjoy it. It is true that it’s getting more intense, there’s a lot more pressure on the players and stuff, but everybody’s here because they enjoy doing this. I would say it’s just important to not forget that.
AK: Riot announced a big change coming into the next season, most notably removing relegation, a franchising system, etc. There’s a lot of interesting back and forth from the community especially about the removal of relegation. Some people think it’s good, other people think it’s bad, so I want to ask if you had any thoughts or opinions about it.
HH: I don’t know it’s not something I’m too concerned with. My job is to go out and perform on stage, and that’s just all I’m going to do.
AK: Another thing I have to ask because of all the news surrounding Echo Fox is the decision of hiring five former professional players. There are some conversations about Echo Fox only scrimming their sister team. It kind of reminded me back when CJ Entus has Blaze and Frost would only scrim each other and not anyone else. Do you think this sister team scrimming is just as effective a strategy as it was back when CJ did it?
HH: I think we have our ways of practicing, and today we went 2-0 so there’s definitely something that’s working. We’ll just have to wait and see if we have a better method than the other teams.
AK: Were you surprised about the decision to have some older faces back into the Challenger scene and potentially scrimming with them on a professional basis as opposed to LCS teams?
HH: No I don’t think it’s really a drastic change. It’s just scrimming another team, you know? I don’t know. It feels good.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot