Froggen: "I think coaching would be very interesting, but my current focus is just to be a professional player."

Korea's cold weather is relentless. 

Due to the cold waves traveling down from the north pole, the bone-chilling temperature has become the norm in Korea. It's as if the country has been caught in the center of Anivia's ultimate - and coincidentally enough, Anivia was actually here. 

The player that visited Korea in the midst of this chilly weather was Henrik "Froggen" Hansen. He is a midlaner that been around since the early phase of the EU LCS, and he is a maestro of Anivia.

Until last year, Froggen played for Echo Fox in the NA LCS, but currently he's not affiliated with any team. Instead of wasting time, Froggen took full advantage of this opportunity to come to Korea for personal training. It took 10 days for Froggen to reach Challenger tier here in Korea - but only 2 days to gain 500lp, enough points to place him in the top 20 of the KR ladder. 

As expected from the incarnation of Anivia, Froggen took down an entire bowl of Korean shaved ice all by himself - despite the temperature being -12°C - while talking about his current situation and his future plans.



Can you give us a brief introduction of yourself?

My name is Henrik, also known as Froggen, and I play midlane.

What brought you to Korea?

Since I'm not in a team right now, I wanted to practice in the best way possible. Yoon "JoyLuck" Deok-Jin's company, 'JL Factory', has been helping teams with player management and providing the resources necessary for foreign teams to come to Korea for boot camp. I came to Korea through him as well.

What have you been doing here in Korea? Have you paid a visit to the LCK studio?

I've been here for 13 days so far. I've mainly just played solo queue. I have not visited the LCK studio yet;  my visit here is just mainly for playing solo queue games.

However, I'm planning to visit next week. 

Which matchup are you going to watch? Is there a certain team that you want to watch? Maybe SKT?

I'm not too sure about the matchups, so I'm not sure which game I'll be watching, but I'll figure it out - probably today. It is fun to watch them [SKT], especially since they're going through a hard time. It'll be fun.

You're very well-known for playing a lot of Anivia. To you, what kind of connotation does Anivia have? 

Anivia has a lot of personal meaning to me because that's how I started playing League of Legends. In the past, I only played Counter-Strike at the time, and I watched my brother play League of Legends for 1 or 2 months - he was also an Anivia one-trick. One day he finally convinced me to play, but the only champion that I knew anything about was Anivia. That's why I started playing her, and that's why I've been playing her for such a long time. 

Is your brother just as good as you are? 

Hmm... I don't know if he was really good... but he used to be better than me during the half-year or so when I started playing. 

How is Anivia in the current meta?

She's really weak right now. It's because she has a really weak laning phase. When I play Anivia against other pros, I just feel like I have a huge lane disadvantage. People are also getting really good at diving side-lanes early on in the game, but Anivia can't prevent that from happening because she can't really do anything in her own lane.

She just sits in lane and waits for level 6 - runs out of mana - and backs to base all the time. I don't think she's super bad, but if you're playing against players that know what they're doing, you'll be at a big disadvantage.

That's why I don't think she's that great in Masters and Challenger. She has a good winrate in lower tiers though.


Although she doesn't fit in the current meta, Froggen is satisfied with Anivia's kit and design

 What kind of buff do you think Anivia should receive in order to fit better into the meta? Maybe the projectile speed of her Q?

Hmm... It would be pretty good to hit Q more reliably... but if Anivia is to receive a buff of any kind, I think she'll become too overpowered. I don't think she really needs a buff. You need to play the game really slowly at the start with Anivia, but in the current meta, having a slow midlaner is bad for the side-lanes. Also, she's best against immobile champions, but most popular champions right now have gap-closers. 

Back in Season 2, nobody really had gap-closers outside of the ADCs. So it was really good to play her. But now... pretty much every champion has it.

What if Anivia got a gap-closer?

I actually really like how Anivia is designed - I don't think I'd want anything of her's to be changed. All her abilities really fit well together. 

You've played in both EU and NA. What's the biggest difference in meta between the two regions? How different are the playstyles?

It's hard for me to compare NA to EU because I mostly watch NA LCS and LCK.

But it seems like most games are very long. Players only seem to play scaling champions. They also build Targon's on ADCs. There aren't that many option when you play the game right now - like the option to play many different champions. For midlane and ADC, you need to play champions that consistently deal a lot of damage, so realistically, you're limited to only 3 or 4 choices.

What's your opinion on the NA LCS BO1 format changes?

I think it's good. The games are like 50-60 minutes long. It's still enjoyable to watch Korean teams battle it out in a BO3 match, but in NA, games can become a shitfest - one is enough. 

What's your opinion of 'Stopwatch' In the current meta? Many people are upset about the item, as it has become a norm to see 8 out of 10 players in a game have it. 

I think it's awesome. The only reason people are angry about it is that they think that they have a free kill, but end up dying because they didn't respect the item. Instead of adapting to how the item works, some people just say that the item was a stupid addition to the game. 

The item does make you really safe, but it's only a one-time use. So I think it's okay. 

So you really like the Stopwatch... Do you personally use it every time?

Pretty much... yeah.

I only play midlane and ADC, so I only use it for those two roles. 

"It's only a one-time use. So I think it's okay."

Currently, you're not affiliated with any team, but can we expect you to play in the Summer?

I can't talk too much about my previous situation, but I still I want to play. I will remain as a pro. Also, NA is my preferred destination.

So you played a lot of Solo Queue in Korea, what's your view of the current meta?

For solo queue, before minute 20, you can basically do anything that you want. You can even feed 0-10-0. But when the Baron spawns after the 20-minute mark, and you die, you'll get flamed. (Laughs) You cannot die when Baron spawns. That's the only thing people care about here. (Laughs) Sometimes, they just get mad and open mid. 

The players here also tend to play a lot of scaling champions. They pick based on what they see in the LCK. So, there are a lot more meta champions here in solo queue. In NA, people just play whatever they want -  which you can't do in Korea. If you want to climb here, you have to play meta champions.


Is there a certain professional player that you remember the most from your solo queue experience here?

'doinb'. All he does is spam the chat with timers. In games I play with him, no one can say anything because he'd just spam the entire chat. (Laughs) He does it like a thousand times. I think he does that to prevent his team from flaming each other. (Laughs)

Pretty recently, GoldenGlue came to Korea for boot camp, to train alone. What do you get out of this by coming individually and not as a team?

For the solo queue experience. Your mechanics will get much better here because of the ping. In NA we play with 60 ping, plus, there aren't that many great players. In a lot of games back in NA, it'll be just people doing random things.

It's a lot more difficult to play here in Korea, so you can learn a lot more. 

The Korean fans remember you for having an anime figure in your booth during an OGN tournament in the past. Can you tell us about it?

I used to watch a lot of anime back in Season 2. So before the OGN Finals in 2012, we went to Taiwan to practice inside the TPA gaming house for about a week. During my stay, I went out and bought a lot of anime figures - and I ended up bringing my favorite one to the finals in OGN.

Do you still watch anime?

I haven't watched anime in about... 3 years now. I just stopped watching it. Nothing special happened... I guess I'm just over it.

You've been playing as a professional for a very long time now. Looking back, how do you feel about your career?

I think it's pretty good.

Back when I first went pro, it was a big risk. It was mostly about winning money from tournaments at the early stages of my career. So when I dropped out of school to go to OGN, it was a big risk, which I realize now. But I'm very happy that I ended up doing it, It feels like a very stable career now.

What was the most memorable moment of your career?

My whole experience with Alliance is probably my favorite. We started out doing really badly, but we ended up turning it around and won the EU LCS Summer Split. It's probably my favorite moment.

Looking at the future now, what kind of a person do you want to become? Do you have a certain goal? Maybe, become a certain figure within the esports scene?

I'm not too sure yet. I'm still figuring that out - what I want to do afterward. I'm not really sure where I'll end up in. My current focus is to just play the game and be a professional player. I don't have too many thoughts on what I want to do in the future. I think coaching would be very interesting,
but that's something I'd do after I get older and become more experienced - I think it'd be a hard job.

Right now, there are a lot of old pros that became coaches because of their experience in playing the game. But I think there's much more to coaching than just "knowing" the game. I'll probably take education/lessons in regards to coaching if I want to become one. 

What is your main goal for this year?

My main goal would be to be the best that I can possibly be. Every single day I want to improve. Both in League and life in general.

Are there certain LCK players that you want to meet and maybe, hang out with?

There are a lot of LCK pros that I like and have met before. I feel like I get along with most of the pros.
last time I was here, I played a lot with GorillA and PraY. They're really funny. (Laughs) It'll be really fun to meet them again.


You're currently placed in the top 20 of the KR solo queue ladder. Which champion do you recommend for climbing?

I think if you're already master or challenger, just play what you see in the LCK. But before reaching such a high rank, I don't think it really matters what you play. You can reach diamond with whatever you want to play. I think it's more important to actually enjoy playing the game - if you don't you'll just burn out. I suggest that players play whatever they want to.

Do you think you'll be able to hit rank 1 in KR before leaving? I mean, you're already higher than most pros anyway. (Laughs)

I think it'd be really hard, but I'll try my best. (Laughs)

You're maintaining your stream even here in Korea. Are there any difficulties?

There's a timezone difference. Also, while I'm streaming here, I began focusing more on the game
than talking to my viewers. My stream right now is more about gameplay instead of trying to teach those who are watching.

Any final words? What is your main goal for this year?

My main goal would be to be the best that I can possibly be. Every single day I want to improve. Both in League and life in general.

I just want to say thank you to all my fans: thank you for all the support and for following me.


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