Since returning to the LCS for the 2022 season after taking a break from competition in 2021, Dignitas QNTMPAY support Vincent "Biofrost" Wang has wasted no time shaking the rust off and making large contributions to the success of arguably the most underrated team in North America. After DIG's third win in four games to kick off the 2022 LCS Spring Split, Biofrost spoke to Inven Global about the reasons for his competitive break and how Dignitas differs from his previous teams.
Dignitas is now in a five-way tie for 1st place at 3-1. How are you feeling about the Spring Split thus far?
I feel pretty good. I mean, we made numerous mistakes in the game against CLG that are kind of just headscratchers. They're easy to fix, so they're not that concerning.
After our game against EG yesterday, we evaluated a couple of overall macro mistakes that we've discussed and hopefully corrected. That was actually a good learning opportunity for us because the Smite top strategy is becoming more and more prevalent as weeks go by, so it was good that we played against it once on stage to help get a better grasp of it.
Congratulations on the 2,000 LCS career assists, by the way! Looks like the confetti cannons caught you by surprise.
That was legitimately scary, but I'm glad — and surprised — that they made it into a whole celebratory type of thing.
Did you know you were that close to 2k?
*Laughs* No, it's not something I keep on a bulletin board like, 'Look, guys! I'm 200 assists away!'
Imagine tallying all of your assists for five years.
Jokes aside, it's been great seeing you back in the LCS after a year off, and you don't seem to have needed to shake off any rust in regards to competitive play. Do you agree with that sentiment, and if so, how were you able to return to peak form so quickly?
*Laughs* I think I'm playing better than I was before I took a break. Honestly, I think that's because after the 2020 season, I really needed some time to reset. It was good for my mental. In going back to the LCS with Dignitas, I've been given a lot more ability to play what I want, draft how I want, and have more direction within the team. It's felt a lot better for me and it's helped my play.
Overall, the environment here is a lot more agreeable. People are willing to adapt and change, and we can discuss things freely. It's been a great space for improvement.
That's really good to hear. It seems like the team is working well even though Kim "River" Dong-woo only got here a few days before week 2 of the Lock In. Despite this, it looks like you and him have played together for months. How have you built support/jungle synergy so quickly, through a language barrier, no less?
I think River and I honestly just think about the game in really similar ways. We know what the right thing to do is, so we don't even need to communicate it. I see our communication through our language in League, and based on that, we just know what to do, so there's already a lot of synergy there between us.
River's a very calculated player and he wants to play the game in a calculated way, so there isn't like something random that happens with him in the game. He's very calculated in the way he wants to play, and I'm very similar, so we see eye to eye.
For my money, Neo has quietly been an elite AD carry in the LCS for over a year. What's it been like developing synergy with him?
Neo is a player that likes to play aggressively. We share a lot of the same ideas for bot lane matchups, so we've gotten along pretty well. For the most part, we actually haven't had many issues in the bot lane. It's been pretty smooth sailing, so we haven't been tested yet. Honestly, it'll probably be good for our growth if we go through a slump and test that bond. *laughs* Or maybe we'll just keep on with the honeymoon phase, who knows?
This level of play was not what anyone expected out of Dignitas. You're clearly a much better team than anyone gave you credit for, so why was DIG so heavily underestimated heading into 2022?
A lot of people base their assumptions on how a roster looks on paper. I often see a lot of misconceptions on Reddit in the opinions formed about players. It's not to say that people shouldn't have opinions — everyone can say whatever, of course, but in a lot of those cases, there are pieces of information missing. When a player plays poorly, people don't think about the circumstances that may be leading to that. In addition, a lot of the time, skills are overlooked.
I'm happy that Blue is playing well. He had a lot of health issues on his previous team, and any small things can be extremely detrimental to performance, so I'm really happy for him. When you look at Neo and FakeGod, they have names that don't really pop out at you, but they're solid players in their roles and they're a good foundation for a solid roster. And then there's me. I took a break, so everyone was like, 'Okay, he's probably going to run it down.'
When you see comments like that, does that make you firey to prove them wrong? Or do you just shrug it off and let people think what they want?
I mean, reading Reddit comments is a very slippery slope because it can affect your confidence. I think there was a while where the community perception of me was not great following Worlds 2020. Honestly, the post-Worlds perception of any player on TSM that year wasn't great, but I think that I especially did not play well. Overall, that season was very tumultuous for me because I got subbed out, then I head to come back to the starting roster again. The condition I was in was not very stable, so right now, I'm playing a lot better because I've been through that full reset.
The substitution of Erik "Treatz" Wessén in your place always seemed to be a fractured decision in the TSM camp. Do you think your necessity to take that year off to reset was due to the lack of security in your position, or was it something more individual?
It's usually to do with one's own mental. When you get subbed out, you feel like your teammates lose confidence in you, so my confidence took a hit, for sure. Going into Worlds, I was happy to be there, but I think a number of conditions did not set us up for success. We did not have good results in scrims. *laughs* We kind of just kept losing.
Slowly, over time, the team environment kind of dissolved. In compounding the other previous issues I had, it just wasn't a successful recipe. I'm not saying that's an excuse because I could have played a lot better, for sure.
A lot of what you're saying echoes what Blue said to me regarding the importance of the environment in a competitor's performance. Is the current Dignitas atmosphere you've spoken positively of a byproduct of the staff, or was it something organically cultivated by the players on the starting roster?
The environment is usually set by the coaching staff, management, and most importantly, the players. If you have a set of ideals that the coaching staff is trying to set, those don't matter if the players don't buy into those ideals. We have a set of ideals that we believe in, and overall, that sets us up for success.
What was life for Biofrost like during your break in 2021? Were you just playing solo queue?
When I took a break, it wasn't like I just went to Hawaii for a year. Not everything was sunshine and rainbows: I still played a lot of solo queue; I grinded a lot; I streamed — I got a dog! That was great. *laughs* I also spent some time with family. At the end of the day, though, I still wanted to come back to the LCS.
To be transparent, I actually didn't receive many offers to come back this split. I think most people had written me off as an option for a roster, because where was I, right? I had taken a year-long break. I'm very grateful that Dignitas gave me a chance to show that I can still compete.
When you took a year off last season, were you sure you wanted to come back? Or were you weighing your options for the future?
Honestly, I didn't know if I was going to come back or even get offers. There are a lot of good players like Jensen, Nisqy and to an extent, Mikyx, who didn't get on teams. I was scared that I would also not get on a team, and I had really had to think, 'Okay, if that happens, am I going to wait another year?' Probably not, right? I'd have to swap careers; maybe look for a coaching position instead. I'm happy that I was given the chance to come back.
You said you didn't receive many LCS offers. Would you have been willing to play for a LCS Academy team in 2022?
I didn't actually receive any offers from Academy teams. Regarding Academy, I think players don't necessarily want a proven veteran. It would be more of something like, 'We'll have him as a substitute if our main support starts to play poorly.' That's honestly not something I want to do; I'd rather just explore something different entirely in that case, like coaching.
I actually have a lot of passion for coaching. I was coaching a lot during my time away from the LCS. I had a lot of students via a site called Metafy and I felt passionate about having my students improve, so I feel like I could do the same thing in a team environment.
A lot of players who debuted around the same time you did like Matthew "Akaadian" Higginbotham, Tanner "Damonte" Damonte, and Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes are now in coaching positions. Is this a future you see for yourself?
I knew I had a possible interest in it, but after actually coaching my students, I knew it was something I could do in the future because I have the necessary game knowledge for it. I have a vision of how I want my team to play. I don't know, it just feels very natural to me.
Do you think the selflessness and big picture perspective of playing support competitively lends itself to coaching?
For sure. I think supports and junglers make the best coaches.
Well, maybe we'll see you with a suit and notebook in the future, but for now, it's nice to see you in a LCS team's jersey again. Thanks for the interview, Biofrost. Is there anything you want to say to the Dignitas fans and the longtime Biofrost fans?
*laughs* Thank you for supporting me, guys. I'm grateful that I'm back. And...make sure to watch the latest Demon Slayer episode.