Following DetonatioN FocusMe’s unfortunate string of losses on the last day of the group stage, we had the chance to sit down with DetonatioN FocusMe’s jungler, Mun “Steal” Geon-yeong. Despite not winning a game today, Steal managed to set the individual kill record for the tournament so far and made himself look like one of the team’s star players. We got to ask him about Wukong’s strength in the meta, the terror of facing T1, and his hopes for the future.
I wanted to ask you about your game against Saigon Buffalo. You set a kill record for this year’s MSI but weren’t quite able to close out the game. In your opinion, what went wrong?
After the first match against them, we were expecting a bloodbath. So, we prepared a lot of picks and played into that. However, we were not able to stay focused until the very last moment.
What do you think makes Wukong such a strong jungler at MSI, and what do you think some of his weaknesses are?
So, at first, I had no idea why Wukong was so highly valued. I thought Viego and Graves can counter him, but I guess he’s really good at playmaking and opening teamfights and stuff. So that’s why Wukong is really good right now, but I still feel like Viego and Graves can counter him.
What were your initial feelings on having to face T1 in the group stage?
I was like, “They’re just so good!”, you know? They don’t really need macro to close out the game, they just destroy the game starting from the laning phase.
Speaking of T1, I’m curious if you learned anything playing against Oner?
To be honest, when I was playing against T1, I didn’t have the luxury of looking at what the opposing jungler was doing. I was too focused on my own play.
Yaharong’s playstyle seems very different from Aria’s. How has Yaharong’s addition to the team changed how you play as a jungler?
They definitely have very different playstyles. For example, Aria is very aggressive whereas Yaharong is very consistent and stable. Depending on the circumstances, he’s very nice to have.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve heard Harp was very nervous about his first international event. How did the team help him through this tournament?
I mean, we expected Yaharong and Harp to both be a little nervous as they were having their first international experience. So, I just wanted to make sure they could play as they usually do. We wanted to chat with them before the game starts to make them feel a lot more comfortable.
I’ve heard some of the best players in Japan play in Korean solo queue. Do you think that gives Japan an advantage over other regions?
Yeah, definitely. I’ve played both European servers and Korean servers, and I can say for sure the Korean server’s tier is higher, and their quality is better.
You’ve been on DetonatioN FocusMe for a long time since you were imported from Korea. What do you think has kept your team on top of Japan?
It’s mostly because we’ve been together so long, so we have great teamwork. There are some changes on our roster, but in general, we have a lot of players sticking together. It allows us to have better teamwork.
It feels like Japanese teams are doing well in many esports. For example, ZETA Division’s international success in Valorant. Have you noticed a higher level of competition in Japan over the years you’ve been playing?
[Japan] is not only better internationally now, but we’re gaining a lot more attention and love.
I’m sure that you’re disappointed with your performance here. Do you picture DetonatioN FocusMe improving enough to make a good run at Worlds?
Yeah… I mean, our MSI journey was a little disappointing. But still, we kind of figured out what we are not good at and acknowledged what we can improve on. So, I hope we can do better, do our best in the summer split, and come back for Worlds.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the new Western fans of DetonatioN FocusMe?
I believe DFM is getting better, and we’re always improving. If we get to attend another international event, we will come back more competitive and we will do our best. Thank you.
All photos © 2022 Riot Games, Inc. Used With Permission.
Carver is an esports journalist and analyst who specializes in Eastern League of Legends.