If League of Legends had its own Mount Rushmore, one of the iconic busts chiselled into the stone would be that of Henrik “Froggen” Hansen. Once the face of European League of Legends, Froggen has walked a long journey to find himself here in the NA LCS and after a last place finish in the 2016 Summer Split, he now finds himself climbing towards the top of the LCS once again.
There are few teams that have defined a distinctive playstyle like the deceased CLG.EU. Known for hard scaling compositions, they were a roster built around stamina, extending the game until they finally overpowered their opposition as they become jaded in the final hour. No player exemplified this spirit more than Froggen.
Froggen is the master of CS per 10, the best farming player in the world without question. He once held the record for most CS in a game and has used his signature Anivia pick to garner the respect of players across the globe. But after a semi-finals finish with CLG.EU at the Season 2 World Championships, things have been consistently trending downward for Froggen.
Froggen is the last member of that CLG.EU squad playing professionally in one of the major regions (Sorry Wickd) and has made multiple roster moves to keep himself in the spotlight: from Evil Geniuses to the European super team of Alliance, to Elements, and finally across the pond to Echo Fox.
In many ways, Echo Fox was a fresh start for Froggen. After watching his teams struggle in the EU LCS, he had an opportunity to lead a brand new team in a new region. This would be a team built around him, fully committed to his success, a place where he could rekindle his former glory; farther from home but closer to that championship he craved.
These grand aspirations never took flight; Echo Fox struggled to ever take off. While Froggen continued to be a steadying presence, the Echo Fox ship slowly sank to a last place finish at the end of the 2016 Summer Split. The Promotion Tournament seemed to reignite the Froggen of old as he would not be denied a return to the LCS, carrying Echo Fox through the tournament.
The off-season brought many changes to the Echo Fox organization. They doubled down with their commitment to Froggen, building a roster around him that combined former world champions with promising NA talent. While this is still Froggen’s team, the early play of newcomers Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham and Jang “Looper” Hyeong-seok have propelled Echo Fox to a much stronger start, including a recent 2-0 over reigning champions Team SoloMid.
This is a dangerous team for any of their NA competitors, with strong early presence and a macro game understanding that continues to quickly develop. The typical issues still exist, but improvement in communication has been outlined by Froggen previously as a point of emphasis and will only continue to improve. If their bottom lane is able to match that of their opponents, Froggen, Akaadian, and Looper should be able to carry Echo Fox to victory.
It’s been a long and frustrating journey, but Froggen may be once again rising towards the top of the League of Legends world. Echo Fox looks primed to make a deep run in the NA Playoffs, a run that could once again place Froggen in the international spotlight. The faith that had been placed in him to lead Echo Fox is finally beginning to pay off, exciting fans both new and old as Froggen continues to restore his former prestige.