One of the worlds greatest Warcraft 3 players, MaDFroG has finally been interviewed by none of than his ex team, Schroet Kommando. Here is a small snippet from the interview:
I will be finished after Warcraft 3. At least, that is the way I feel right now. You never know. I’m not really getting tired of it since there are so many new things to learn every day, I would get tired if I won 100% but since I’m not, I am still learning. I really have no idea if I will keep gaming after Warcraft 3, I cant see into my future so it’s really hard to tell what doors will be opened for me in one or two years.The interview takes an inside look at MaDFroG's life, gaming career, and future plans, so it is an interesting read for all the Warcraft 3 players and fans out there.
"A friend gave me the nickname ‘Frogger’ since I didn’t have one. After a while when I got better, I thought Frogger wasn’t that cool and I needed to add some fear in my nick. So, it became "MaDFroG."
That nickname will indefinitely be forever forged in the history of Warcraft III competitive gaming.
BEST OF THE BEST
The Definitive MaDFroG Interview
BY BRENT RUIZ
Fredrik’s gaming history goes back a long way, as far as 1990 when he was 6 years old. “Back then, all there was to play were the 8-bit Nintendo and Sega consoles,” Fredrik tells me.
"After that, my friends got computers, so I was over at their place all of the time playing Warcraft I and after that, Warcraft II. Then, Starcraft was released and we got a computer at home, and me and my neighbors started digging down cables so that we could play on network without moving the computers out of our own houses. But like in all LANs there is not only one game to be played so I played many games like Quake I, Quake II, Quake III: Arena, Age of Empires 1 and 2 and so many other games."
As he mentioned earlier, the Age of Empires series was Fredrik’s first experience with the real-time strategy genre of games. It was only a matter of time until he started to play the best real-time strategy game of the time, Starcraft.
"When all of those games got older I was putting a lot of time into school and it was time for me to move on to Starcraft: Brood War and Battle.net. I spent about 4 hours a day playing but only after 6:00 pm since I had a modem and maybe some more hours on the weekends. I was mainly playing the Brood War ladder and I was getting pretty high," he says.
Growing up in a town called Gothenburg/Kungalv/Ytterby in Sweden for all of his life, he soon joined his first clan, which was a small one based out of his own neighborhood, Tega. That is how the group got its name in fact, as it was named the "Tega Dog Squad". Fredrik explains more about his earlier clan history and the beginnings of his gaming career:
"I was very young so I could not go on any tours or anything like that. But then I turned 15 years old and I joined up with and I went to Uppsala, Sweden for my first offline tour. I believe I placed 5th or something at that tournament, and after that I just kept playing several hours a day. Then, I went on to play at larger events and my first real breakthrough in my career was when I earned a top 3 position in the Swedish qualifier for the World Cyber Games."
Fredrik continues by admitting he eventually got tired of playing Starcraft: Brood War, and wanted something new. "After playing at the World Cyber Games, I was kind of sick of Brood War and started some Diablo II with friends and played it for about 2 months. After that, I switched to Warcraft III."
And thus the man we know as MaDFroG began his Warcraft III gaming career. Frog finishes up by saying, "there are so many things missing, but I would have to write a book to get every single bit of my gaming history on text!"
Sometimes people start playing a game competitively from the beginning to try and be the best. But for Frog, it was a bit different in the beginning. He says that when he was playing Brood War, it was all just for fun – until he participated in that very first LAN tournament, knew he had some potential, and soon wanted to become a pro gamer.
“Even though I never thought I would go this far, I am still really happy that I did. Deep down we all have a goal and I was just trying to keep on going for mine, even though sometimes it was really hard with school and all. But now, I am sure I made the right choice.”
As we now already know, MaDFroG used to be an avid Brood War player. However, he probably is praising himself right now for switching games from Brood War to Warcraft III. I asked him about the transition from one game to the other, and how his mentality was different when playing Brood War and when he switched to Warcraft. Fredrik knew he had potential from his performance in Brood War, but did he think he could do the same and much more with Warcraft III?
“After making some money in Brood War and with all the talk about Warcraft 3 being the new game to make money in, I had to change if I wanted to reach my goal of going pro.
But as I said, under a period between Brood War and when Warcraft 3 was released, I was playing Diablo II only for fun with my friends. But then I realized that this was not what I wanted to do since it could not bring me into the pro gaming world, so I switched to Warcraft 3 after all others had played beta. I think I bought my copy of Warcraft 3 about two weeks after it was released or something like that. In the start I really didn’t like it. The control was very different (from Brood War) and I thought it all looked so simple. But I kept playing, hoping for some patches because I knew Starcraft was really bad in the start also, so my faith was in Blizzard’s hands."
"And now," he continues, "when I compare Warcraft 3 to Brood War, I feel Warcraft is the better game, mainly because in Brood War you need such a high APM (actions per minute) to be able to do all the things efficiently. But in Warcraft, it is much easier to do all the things you want to be able to do, and I think that is fairer for the new players who want to enter the gaming world.”
Evolution of Pro Gaming
People who are following the pro gaming scene will know that Sweden holds several top names, in a variety of games. The best obvious example is Schroet Kommando’s Counter-Strike division, recognized as the #1 Counter-Strike team for a while now, and whose majority of players are from Sweden.
What I and many others want to know is if gaming as a profession is evolving into a true reality in Europe? I asked Fredrik a related question regarding this, asking him if he has seen any signs of the scene evolving from the time he began playing Brood War to today’s times where he is playing Warcraft III. Frog has high hopes for the future of gaming in Europe.
"It is so hard for me to tell what has changed," he starts, "but for me the profiles were much stronger in Brood War, maybe because I am looking on it from a different angle. I can see that gaming is growing so much in general and I hope that the real pro-leagues with money and television channels are not far away in Sweden or the rest of Europe. I think there are so many more gamers in Europe than before but it’s just what I think. Gaming will grow; it is only a matter of time in my opinion."
Another topic Fredrik touched on was the increase in prize money given out in tournaments. It has obviously grown. "The prize money is so much higher now," he clams. "I remember when I went to Prague to play a tour and first prize was $1000 and that was one of the biggest tours in Europe. Now, we have tours like ESWC (Electronic Sports World Cup) with $25000 in prize money. This is a really big change. Now even some of the Europeans are getting salary, so the change from back then and now is just so big so it’s hard to understand how fast it has all passed by."
Europe is closer to Korea than any other continent, so what about America? Fredrik has been away from Europe for 7 months now and doesn’t have a strong enough grasp to talk about America’s lagging behind Europe and Korea in the pro gaming aspect, but he still had some words to say about comparing the European and Korean gaming scenes.
"If you compare Europe to Korea it is pretty easy to say that the main reason Europe is not as big is because Korea is much smaller than all of Europe. There is no centrum for the pro gamers in Europe so there can’t be any big television leagues yet because of the travel distance. But, maybe if someone made a TV station in a city in Europe, pro teams could move there. I mean, it is not impossible if all parts want this, and I really think there is enough interest by gaming fans for a television channel showing games all day."
Being a talented player in Warcraft III is one thing, but joining an awesome gaming team is another. Fredrik talks about his "big break" in his Warcraft career as he talks about his clan history. Did it all start with Schroet Kommando? Or was it before that? Fredrik responds, "Well I was playing in eSu (E-Sports United) before joining SK (Schroet Kommando) so I think my big break was before joining SK. I know there were some different offers for team-Q (that is where the ]Q<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
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