DetonatioN FocusMe Preview shows us a team that has been struggling but might have a redemption arc incoming.
The 2023 League of Legends World Championship started this week! The biggest LoL event of the year already had some banger games and some incredible surprises, such as Team Whales beating Team BDS and CTBC Flying Oyster in a reverse sweep. The Play-In will reach the first Elimination Round in the Lower Bracket on Friday, so two teams will say goodbye to Worlds. LJL powerhouse DetonatioN FocusMe has been through a rough patch – will they be among the first teams to get knocked out?
DetonatioN FocusMe Preview
DetonatioN FocusMe Team History
Even though the LJL is one of the smaller leagues of the competitive scene, DetonatioN FocusMe is one of the most well-known team in the world. This is due to the fact that DFM has won 16 LJL titles, won 10 out of the last 11 championships, and are currently on a 6-cup streak in winning the Japanese tournament. They are one of the most decorated team of professional League of Legends, and the most decorated one at Worlds.
However, they faced some hardships this year: after the departure of their iconic toplaner, Shunsuke “Evi” Murase, they signed Haruki “tol2” Shibata, who proved to be a great toplaner domestically, but in the international scene, couldn’t provide the same stability as Evi did. DFM won the LJL Spring Playoffs (as usual), but failed to make it far at the Mid-Season Invitational. In Summer, they dominated the Japanese league again, winning both the regular season and the Playoffs.
However, the team went through some turmoil then reports came out that the team’s two coached, Kazu and Ceros abused DFM’s new toplaner, tol2, who left the team after the community found out. Kazu and Ceros were fired, and DFM had to play the rest of the season with Yutapon in the toplane and Milan filling in for ADC. Nevertheless, DFM won it all again, but had to make changes to their roster before worlds.
DetonatioN FocusMe Roster
- Ryo “apaMEN” Odagiri
- Mun “Steal” Geon-yeong
- Lee “Aria” Ga-eul
- Yuta “Yutapon” Sugiura
- Lee “Harp” Ji-yoong
DetonatioN FocusMe Playstyle
ApaMEN joined the team AFTER DetonatioN FocusMe won the Summer Split with Yutapon in the toplane. The 31-year-old has played for teams such as Rascal Jester and the Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS before his retirement after the 2021 Summer Playoffs. This means that he didn’t play any professional matches for 2 years – but due to being close to DFM, he agreed to play for them during the World Championship.
This means that DetonatioN FocusMe is a wildcard this Worlds, as apaMEN doesn’t have any stats or matches to look at. He’s a carry player at heart, and picked Aatrox twice against CTBC Flying Oyster, but didn’t find much success.
Other than apaMEN, Aria and Yutapon are the players, to watch. Aria has an incredibly strong laning phase, usually finding leads thanks to good trades and presence. Yutapon makes a great pair with Harp, who plays around his ADC often. Together, they have the best KD@14 number out of all players attending Worlds, with Harp running circles around the second placed support, ON of Bilibili Gaming.
DetonatioN FocusMe likes to play around Herald in the early game, where they usually get leads through kills rather than macro play. They have a fairly high First Turret%, but they take that Turret slowly compared to other teams – this means that they don’t turn their aggression into macro leads, but also don’t give much to their opponents. They do get a high number of Turret Plates, but don’t bother to finish the buildings themselves.
They tend to fall off in the late game. They have a low Baron% compared to other teams, which is a bit strange as they focus Heralds early on. They are also among the slower teams of the tournament, and they can really drag out their losses, with only 3 teams having slower defeats among attending squads. This is their biggest issue, as they can get leads, but often throw them away, losing matches that are perfectly winnable: 5 out of their 6 LJL Summer losses, they had a 2k lead, but after some bad plays, they fall behind and ultimately lost the game.
The new squad at Worlds could change everything, as Yutapon returned to the botlane. This means that Harp can stay with him more as they did in the Spring Split, rather than roaming when Milan was playing. ApaMEN can also play weakside with his versatile juggernauts such as the Aatrox.
Sadly, we didn’t see much of DFM in their first match against the PCS 2nd seed, CTBC Flying Oyster. They lost 0-2 against them, with the first match looking fairly close, but the second bout being incredibly one sided. Strangely Aria and Steal were the outliers, who usually play a high level of League of Legends. DetonatioN FocusMe still has a chance to make it to the Swiss Stage – they just have to beat Team BDS in the Loser’s Bracket.