DFM Harp: "If we do play like we do in scrims, making it to the group stage will be a breeze."

Photo via LoL Esports

On day 3 of the 2022 LoL World Championship, DetonatioN FocusMe defeated Beyond Gaming in their play-in stage group match. After losing to Fnatic and LOUD earlier in the tournament, the team was able to find their momentum and capture two victories in the play-in stage so far. They will be facing Evil Geniuses on day 4 of the play-in stage, who are currently tied in first place alongside Fnatic.


The support player for DFM, Lee “Harp” Ji-yoong, joined Inven Global for a one on one interview.

After DFM’s win over BYG, the team’s now 2-2 in their play-ins run. How do you reflect on the team’s performance so far?


We started off quite poorly with those two losses, so the feedback was to remind ourselves to play like we did in scrims. I think the mindset change really helped in racking up the two wins in our last two matches.


We felt like we’ve improved quite significantly because we’ve done so well in scrims, so we headed into the tournament with full of confidence. However, I was able to visually tell that everyone was very nervous, so we were quite helpless against Fnatic and LOUD.


During feedback, we also discussed a lot about our draft. We did have a clash in opinions in the process, but in the end, we were able to reach a conclusion. I think the talks helped quite a bit in cleaning our draft up, and we focused on being more decisive in making the plays that we need to make.


Many players have spoken out on the jet lag, as well as the altitude sickness that’s affecting them negatively. How’s DFM doing in that regard?


Yaharong wasn’t affected by altitude sickness, but Evi and Yutapon have been struggling. They’ve said that they were always feeling dizzy. As for myself, I didn’t feel sick in the beginning, but after about 2-3 days, the altitude sickness hit me hard. It was really hard for me to sleep. I felt the lack of oxygen, and things like this are actually pretty big in the upkeep of our physical conditions.


My teammates have also said that the tacos aren’t that great, but I think they’re delicious [laughter].


To talk a bit more about champion picks, Maokai is a champion that can be flexed into multiple roles, but is currently being picked primarily as a jungler. What are your thoughts on support Maokai, and how do they fare against the other meta picks in the support role?


Right now, apart from the permabanned Yuumi, tanky and hard engage support champions are dominating the support meta. I think that Amumu is turbo broken in such a meta. Maokai’s a champion that can fit quite flexibly in a lot of team compositions, so he can definitely be played in the support role.


Like you said, tank/engage support champions are dominant in the meta; with hypercarry bot laners like Zeri and Sivir being nerfed, as well as Yuumi herself, why is she continuing to be perma banned at Worlds?


Personally, I think Yuumi’s value goes up if the team’s very good. It’s important for a Yuumi lane to safely get through the laning phase, so I think stronger teams know how to utilize her better. In the end, she will outscale any tank supports. They cannot beat Yuumi no matter what. 


It’s no secret that DFM has been dominant in the LJL for quite some time now, but when it comes to the international stage, they’ve yet to show real progress. What does the current squad need to do to make it into the group stage and potentially into knockouts?


I think every team in the play-in stage is feeling that pressure. I really do believe that we’ve played very well in scrims, but we haven’t even shown a quarter of how we played in scrims. Rather than feedback on the specific in-game aspects, I think it’s more important for us to regain our confidence. If we do play like we do in scrims, making it to the group stage will be a breeze.


Talk to me about your current practice environment. It’s no secret that NA solo queue, when it comes to quality, has always been considered poor. That’s why Champion’s Queue is available for the pros playing at Worlds this year; what are your thoughts on both the solo queue and Champion’s Queue?


The MMR on the solo queue account that I was given was matched with Diamond/Master players, so that’s why I opted to play Champion’s Queue more. To be honest, by pro player standards, playing against Diamond/Master players in the KR server wouldn’t be great practice as well. I’m sure it’ll be alright once the solo queue accounts hit Challenger MMR, but again, there’s no time for me to hit that MMR, and Champion’s Queue is a great alternative.


Lastly, do you have a personal goal for this year’s Worlds?


I’m a realist, so making it to the group stage is my first objective. If we get lucky with our group, then we’ll be able to aim for the knockout stages as well. Yaharong and I jokingly made bets on whether or not we’ll make it that far, so ultimately, we all want to make it far into the tournament.

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