A Window to Japan Esports: An Interview with Japanese Champions DetFM

Hey everybody! blue_lights here. I’ll be dropping by here at Cloth5 to bring you ladies and gentlemen exclusive news on the up-and-coming Japanese LoL scene!

With the Japanese servers planned for release in the near future, I figured it would be a great time to dive my way a little deeper into Japan’s world of Esports. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview with Detonation FM, Japan’s top LoL team, fresh off their championship win in the L.J League Grand Finals.

DetonatioN FM team looking happy after their championship win.

From left to right: LGraN (Manager / CEO), Yutaproid (ADC), Riosilva (Support), Bonzin (Top), Ceros (Mid) and Astarore (Jungle).

First of all, congratulations on your LJL season victory! Can you start us off with an introduction for yourself and the team?

Sure! My name is LGraN and I’m working as both the CEO of the multi-gaming team DetonatioN and the manager of DetonatioN FM. Personally, I come from a background of being a player as well.

I was the Japanese representative at WCF2012 for Counter-Strike Online. In May, 2013, I retired as a player and moved on to the role of the CEO for DetonatioN. It was at this time as well that I started working to expand the organization as the manager of DetFM.

As far as DetonatioN FM goes, the official team name is DetonatioN FocusMe. The team originally began as FocusMe, and sometime around April of 2013 we began our affiliation with DetonatioN.


What originally struck you as an opportunity for creating the team FocusMe?

As Esports wasn’t very well known throughout Japan, I didn’t think that awareness would spread with just a single game title. Despite there being no server in Japan, I decided it was a good opportunity to add on a team for LoL, which was already popular around the world.

At the time, DetonatioN already had sponsors from Zowie and GIGABYTE, and FocusMe was a group of players who were aiming to be professional. That’s when we decided to form the team together.


What sort of backgrounds are the players coming from? Prior to playing LoL, what other games did everyone play?
Quick shot of the DetFM booth at the championship hosted at the Tokyo Game Show.

Quick shot of the DetFM booth at the championship hosted at the Tokyo Game Show.

The players had come from a variety of backgrounds. Ceros was originally a Special Forces 2 (FPS) player, Riosilva and yutapon played Fantasy Earth Zero. In the end, the reason everyone ended up on LoL was partly due to the game being interesting and partly due to people gathering where the players are.

There were a lot of players in Japan, and the game was gaining popularity globally.


League does have the power to bring people together doesn’t it…

It does! LoL’s charm definitely attracts people.


On a side note, what do you think that charm is? What kind of things do you think are necessary to attract players to a PvP game who have no experience in the genre?

LoL’s charm lies in the fact that there are a ton of champions rich with personality and because each update brings changes to the champion’s abilities, more trial-and-error are required each day. Also, thanks to the ranking system you are able to clearly see your skill level, which ties in to keeping your motivation (toward the game) high.

In order to attract new players who have never played this type of game before, I think it’s necessary to simplify the games tutorial. However, Riot is focused on core gamers, so that plan may be the secret to the game’s popularity. Once you get hooked, you’re stuck.


Sorry for the tough questions! Once the official server in Japan opens up, what sort of things do you want to be implemented? Are there and specific champs you would like to see, or perhaps voice actors you would like to hear?

Personally, I would love to see a school uniform as a skin… haha!  As for champions, Yasuo is already available as a samurai character, so that’s good for the time being!

There are a ton of voice actors I would like to see in the game, but I think it would be a great idea to open up a survey to the fans in Japan and have them decide!

Let's be honest... Who isn't looking forward to some sweet Japanese cosplay when the servers open up?!

Let’s be honest… Who isn’t looking forward to some sweet Japanese cosplay when the servers open up?!

A school uniform would be great… Moving back to the topic of the LJL, what are some good points about the team that helped contribute to your victory this season? Thinking about the future and competing with teams around the world, what do you think is necessary to prepare?

During the Winter Season of the LJL this year, our team finished in last place. Despite having Yutapon and Ceros, the top players representing Japan, on the team, we lacked a player who could command them and shot-call well. To compensate for that, we added Riosilva to the team.

We also added on BonziN and Astarore, both highly skilled players to complete the team. With this solid roster, we took victories in the Spring and Summer Seasons. The biggest factor in this was definitely the addition of a shot-caller.

In order for DetFM to compete with global teams, an analyst for our team is essential. It’s not possible to stand up to other teams on a global level without somebody who can instruct the team on the current meta and picks / bans from an outside standpoint. Payments for the players and a gaming house will come along when we start producing results, so we have to start from there.

By the way, DetFM just succeeded in acquiring Kazu from one of our rival teams, Ozone Rampage, in order to start competing globally. Kazu is aiming to become the best analyst in the world, and his strategies and tactics are very highly regarded in Japan. I think the day in which DetFM is well-known around the world is getting closer.


Next season should be quite interesting! To finish things off, do you have any shout-outs to your fans around the world or people with an interest in the Japanese LoL scene?

I think LoL’s popularity will boom next year thanks to the opening of the Japanese server. Please look forward to the day when a Japanese team rises up to the WCS stage. When that day comes, I’m positive that that team will be DetFM! Please keep rooting for us!

That will wrap up the interview with DetFM! Thanks again to LGraN for taking time out of his schedule to participate in this interview! Let me know what you thought about the interview in the comments below, or what other kind of content you guys would be interested in seeing about the Japanese scene!

Thanks to the LJ League for use of their pictures.
Copyright (C) 2014 LJ LEAGUE All Rights Reserved.

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Reality continues to ruin my life. Translator. Berkeley, CA to Tokyo, Japan.

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