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Promisq: “I Have A Lot To Prove This Year. For Basically Everyone.”

Tom Matthiesen

2021 will be a big year for Hampus Mikael “promisq” Abrahamsson. After a two year break from playing on the highest stage in Europe, the seasoned support player will make his grand return in the LEC this coming January in the Spring Split, donning the Astralis jersey (formerly Origen). With a year of experience as a substitute of G2 under his belt, the Swede spent 2020 playing in the Prime League for mousesports.

promisq lec astralis g2

promisq returns to the highest European stage with Astralis in 2021. (Photo courtesy Riot Games.)

Though his mousesports venture was successful, promisq wanted more. He sat down with us to tell us about returning to the spotlights of European League of Legends. promisq also shared how he has changed as a player as a result of the experience he has gained, and the expectations he has for himself and the Astralis lineup in 2021.

Hotspawn: Hey man, thanks for taking the time! How are you?

promisq: I’m doing very well, thanks for asking.

Hotspawn: I imagine you’re very excited to return to the LEC next year.

promisq: Yeah, of course. I was probably the happiest I have ever been when it was confirmed. Ok, maybe I was happier the first time I ever joined the EU LCS, as it was named back then. I was super happy then. I had been chasing that and it was a dream of me, so reaching that for the first time was obviously very crazy. But after that, I’ve always been super excited and thankful for the opportunities I got. This one felt extra good though, as I posted on my Twitter.

I really thought that my train had passed. I didn’t think I was going to get another shot. I can totally see from an organizational point of view why you would not choose me as a support player. I’ve played for such a long time already and people think I’ve hit the ceiling, that I can’t prove anything anymore. In that case, there’s no point in picking me up. So I’m super happy and super grateful for getting another opportunity. I do feel like I deserve it. It’s not about that. It’s just that, realistically, I did not think it was going to happen.

Hotspawn: When did the talks between you and Astralis start? Were there any other LEC teams you were talking to?

promisq: So, this year in the summer for EU Masters, there was a bit of a weird schedule where we played three games and then there was a two-week break or something like that until the final part of the Group Stage. I think Astralis contacted mousesports about wanting to talk to Jeskla already after three games. He got in touch with them right then and there. I think it was after we finished playing the Group Stage that Astralis got in touch with mousesports about talking to me as well. If I recall correctly, we started talking after EU Masters was finished. It was pretty early in the offseason. We were still finishing our matches with mousesports. But yeah, that’s about when I got in touch with them.

Hotspawn: So they first spoke to Jeskla—did he play a part in you being picked up? Did he recommend you to them, maybe? After all, you built synergy over the course of last year.

promisq: For sure, Jeskla and I have a really good relationship both on and off the Rift. I mean, here we are right? [laughs] We want to play together again. I think he is very happy with me as a support. He probably values me higher than what the community would value me at. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. But it wasn’t like he said to Astralis “I want to play with promisq, and that’s final.” They also had other options they were looking at.

We did one interview, me and the coaches, and after that, I felt like it was pretty much settled. I’m guessing I really aced the interview as well. [laughs] They seemed very convinced and satisfied with the answers I gave to their questions and the doubts they maybe had. It felt like they had full trust in me and I do feel that I have kind of given it back already in the two weeks we have been scrimming. I played pretty well in the scrims we’ve played in the past two weeks, so I hope I can keep riding the wave and keep taking question marks away. I have a lot to prove this year. For basically everyone. The fans, the other players in the league that haven’t really been around when I was around, who are probably wondering “Why is this guy back? I thought he was done and out.”

Hotspawn: Washed up, as they say.

promisq: Yeah, exactly. It’s about time for me to come back.

“I am really excited to show a different promisq to the world”

Hotspawn: It is obviously quite an interesting timeline, where you went from EU LCS to being a substitute, then played in the Prime League, and now you are making your return to the big stage. Since you had played in the EU LCS, did it at all impact you negatively to realize you were going to take a ‘step back’ and play in the Prime League?

promisq: No, not really. The thing is: I played on H2K in 2018 and then, for the 2019 offseason, I had some pretty serious problems outside of the Rift. I basically just decided that, if I want to make something work, I would have to be in the LEC. I couldn’t see myself move to another country to play in something else than the LEC at that point. I was in talks with one of the LEC teams, but that fell apart at the last minute. Then I thought: “Fuck it, I’m just gonna take a year off and see what happens.” I wasn’t even sure if I was going to continue at that point. Then G2 approached me, and that was a great opportunity. You never know how serious the Mikyx injury was, of course, and how much you get to play. Regardless, being affiliated with those players… you could see in hindsight what it did for my career in a ‘public perception’ way. I got a huge amount of following and general appreciation, which I didn’t really deserve in a way. I have a lot of fans cheering for me, which is nice.

But yeah, to simply answer the question: it wasn’t a problem for me to play in the ERL [European Regional League, red] in 2020. Things outside the Rift kind of settled down and were calmer. And, I am just so addicted to playing League of Legends. [laughs] It’s the only thing I actually want to do in life right now. I can’t see myself doing anything else. I really want to compete. So I wanted to continue, but I couldn’t just go straight back to the LEC with a snap of my fingers. I actually have to work for it. So I went to mousesports, which was a great team to be on. I felt like we were super strong on paper. We didn’t really get the results we should have gotten this year, even though we won two titles in Germany, but yeah. Anyway, it wasn’t an issue for me to play in the ERLs. It’s a good experience as well. Once you’re in that bubble, you see that there are a lot of players that really want to prove themself. There is a lot of competition. It was a good year.

promisq lec g2 worlds

promisq’s “gap year” with G2 ended up teaching him a lot. (Photo courtesy Riot Games)

Hotspawn: It’s good to hear you being aware that you needed to ramp up towards making a return in the LEC. Was making a comeback what kept you motivated throughout the year?

promisq: Once the season started, I just wanted to make mousesports as good as possible. I don’t really focus on myself then. I’m not there to prove myself, even though that is a bit of a side objective. You always want to play well, right? You know that people will be watching you. But the priority is still to win as much as possible with the team. My motivation also comes from the fact that I can confidently say that I am a top ten support player in Europe. Which is, realistically, what you have to be if you want to play in the LEC. You just have to be one of the top ten players in your role. I completely felt like I was one of those players, but just due to other reasons I was not going to play in the LEC back then. Then I just had to step out of the way to perform well enough to prove that I am maybe even better than just top ten. As I said, people have their reasons for not picking me up. I totally understand them as well.

Still, it is really frustrating for you, as a player, to be in a position where I feel that I am better than other players who are in the LEC, but I am not getting the chances. I might understand why that’s the case, but it’s still so frustrating. So that has kind of been pushing me every day to keep going harder, to prove my worth. I guess it worked out. I am back in the LEC now, but now is when the real challenge starts.

I feel like I have changed a lot over time. It has been two years since I played in the EU LCS. The G2 scrim era was super useful for me, and I feel like I evolved a lot as a player back then. So yeah I am really excited to show a different promisq to the world. Not a lot of people follow the ERLs, but if you actually do watch them, you can probably see a very explosive and aggressive support roaming style. I’m looking to carry that over to the LEC with Astralis.

“I can see we have the pieces to make it work”

Hotspawn: Could you tell me more about how you’ve changed as a player? Have you changed as a person too, perhaps, as a result of the experience you’ve gained now?

promisq: I’m not sure, I feel like I’m kind of the same person. You always evolve a lot when it comes to the team environment and how to become a better team. I think that’s invaluable as an experience, as a veteran. You’ve been in so many teams that you know what to say and what to in more situations than not. But as a player: you can look at all the top supports in the world, and I feel like you have to be willing to take chances to be a complete inter some games. Look at Hylissang. People can flame him or whatever, but when he is on his game, he is just a brilliant support. Probably the best in the world, honestly.

The more often you can hit your ceiling, the better you are as a support. Now, I’m not saying you should be a coinflip support player or anything like that, but you have to be able to take risks and step out of the KDA bubble. I feel like I kind of didn’t do that much in my previous years. I picked handshake matchups, meaning you’re willing to go even and then the better team just wins, basically. And yeah, I was not on the better team that would win most games. [laughs] I felt like I was just passing by in the games. I was only participating.

I think I’ve changed my vision of how champions are played, and which champions I want to play. I’m all about starting fights and engaging with fights. That’s something I got much better at in G2. There it was all about being able to go in with the snap of your fingers, you know? You need to be really trigger happy, you need to be looking for these fights. I think I perfected that during that time.

Hotspawn: The last topic I want to touch on is the team you’re joining the LEC with: Astralis. It’s a team with many people entering or re-entering the LEC at the same time. How are you feeling about the team so far?

promisq: So far so good! We’ve only had two weeks of practice, and now we’re having a break. Once we get back, that’s when we really have to work hard and define our playstyle down the road. It’s going well though. I know three out of four players—the only one I haven’t had any sort of relationship with is Zanzarah, the jungler. But Whiteknight and I played in PSG for a very short stint. I played with Jeskla, obviously, and Nukeduck is someone who has played in the LEC for as long as I did. We’ve ran into each other and know each other on that level.

But yeah, like I said, Zanzarah was the only one I didn’t have any understanding of or whatever. I see a lot of good stuff coming from him, stuff that I didn’t expect to see. That’s really good. That means we have something to build on. The jungle/support synergy is important, and he and I have a similar style. He likes to go in, I like to go in. I think we can start a lot of good fights and set up our carries to do the damage. Overall I’m just excited and I can definitely see things going in a really good way for us. I can see we have the pieces to make it work. It’s a new year, it’s a new roster.

“I’m not just some fan favorite, some mascot in the back”

Hotspawn: Still, you have five players coming in from four different teams all at once. That’s naturally going to take some time to get in sync. What are your expectations for the first Split, then?

promisq: I’m not gonna sit here and say that we’re going to win the title in the Spring Split. That would just be delusional, let’s be real. But I feel like making it to the Playoffs will be a good start. The most important thing is that we can just work towards a common goal. That nobody gets ahead of the others in terms of their expectations, where they want to be. We all just have to stay level-headed and work at a similar pace. I think that’s the most important to me.

I was on the H2K roster that was fifth place in the Spring Split and then completely bombed out in the Summer Split. That’s not to say that we had peaked in the Spring Split—it was partial luck in that case. Origen, in the past two years, had the exact same situation: a good result in the Spring Split, and then in the Summer Split they just fell apart. I think it’s very important to be able to go through the whole process. It’s one year of two Splits. Just work slowly towards the end goal. It is very hard to do that. It is easier for it to not work, for the train to derail at some point. So you have to work hard to reach the goal.

Hotspawn: To round up, is there anything you want to say to the people who have supported you so far?

promisq: Yeah, there’s a lot I want to say to the fans. It has been a very welcome change, ever since I joined G2, to have more following and more support. It really means a lot. At this point, it’s up to me. Now I’m actually going to be able to play in the LEC, and at the end of the day that’s what I am: a player. I’m not just some fan favorite, some mascot in the back. This is what I want to do, this is why I am in the scene. Right now I want to be able to give back and show people that they’re supporting a good player and not just some funny guy or a good meme from G2.

To the people who don’t want to see me back again… I guess I’ll just have to prove them wrong. I don’t really have anything to say to them. I understand why they would have these feelings, but if I could request anything from them: have an open mind. Try to not base your judgment on past experiences or past opinions of me. Let’s use a clean slate and see how we’ll do this year. I am very confident in myself that I’ll be overperforming in some people’s eyes. I’m very excited to get started.

Astralis play their next match in the LEC on January 22.