Does Froggen Have The Strength To Carry Echo Fox Through The Summer Split?

Only one team finished the first week of the North American League Championship Series with an undefeated record. Defying expectations it was neither Team SoloMid or Cloud9 who reigned supreme, but rather Echo Fox who climbed to the summit of the NA LCS. At the heart of the team’s renaissance, is their star player and mid laner Henrik “Froggen” Hansen.

After a split in which Echo Fox barely avoided the Promotion Tournament and finished in eighth place, FOX brazenly stuck with the same roster in hope of a summer revival. While their confidence in their original roster may ultimately prove to have been misplaced, a boot camp in Korea and a unique scrim structure has shown Echo Fox to be improved early in the season.

From the team’s very inception, it was clear that the Echo Fox team was going to be built around Froggen. Already a superstar in Europe, Froggen became the latest European mid laner to leave in an attempt to make his mark in NA. Unlike his famous predecessor Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg, Froggen was not able to find early success with Echo Fox; now in his fourth split, Froggen and Echo Fox have yet to make an appearance in the playoffs.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Froggen’s first match-up of the week came against one of NA’s best native mid laners, FlyQuest’s Hai “Hai” Du Lam. Placed on two high damage carries in Lucian and Leblanc, Froggen showed off his laning dominance and mechanical prowess by opening up significant early leads on Hai in both games. In the first game, Froggen overpowered what is usually a safe pick in Karma mid, and punished Hai’s disrespectful blind Kassadin pick with his Lucian in game two.

In their next series against Team Liquid, it was much of the same for Froggen. Although Team Liquid’s mid lane struggles have been well documented, Froggen took care of business against substitute mid laner Andrew “Slooshi” Pham, putting on one of the season’s most impressive performances in game two on a Taliyah pick that may cause future opponents to ban it. He dealt 48% of Echo Fox’s damage and was constantly applying pressure across the map.

Froggen highlighted his versatility in Week 1 by playing a mixture of carries and control mages, something that will allow Echo Fox not only to adapt to the meta, but to not be ‘pigeonholed’ into a specific strategy moving forward.

His apparent mastery of many popular meta picks bodes well for Echo Fox’s outlook early in the season, and there has never been any reason to believe Froggen’s play will drop off as the season goes on. A veteran player who is used to the pressure of being a star, Froggen is a rock with which Echo Fox can continue to build upon.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

The biggest question for Echo Fox moving forward may be, ‘can Froggen keep this up?’. With what many would consider one of the weakest bottom lanes in the NA LCS composed of Yuri “Keith” Jew and Austin “Gate” Yu, Froggen will likely need to maintain a high level of play for Echo Fox to compete for one of the spots in the playoffs.

If he is able to continue to dominate his lane, or win his lane by a large enough margin to apply pressure upon other lanes, Echo Fox’s chances of success in the NA LCS should increase dramatically.


CLICKON eSports 2017 NA LCS Summer Split Power Rankings