Bot gap closed: Yutapon, DFM end LOUD’s Worlds 2022 run

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If the first game of this series between DetonatioN FocusMe and LOUD told you anything, it’s that whoever eventually won this series would have to earn it. Don’t let the 3–1 scoreline fool you; DetonatioN FocusMe had to work for their victory over LOUD, especially considering the early hole they dug themselves into. 

The victory for DFM also marks a milestone for the LJL, as it’s the first time a Japanese team has ever won a best-of-five match on the international League stage.

Game one of the series saw LOUD outlast DFM in the longest game of the World Championship thus far at 44 minutes and 48 seconds. Despite the gold lead changing hands seven different times that game, LOUD held on to take a commanding 1-0 lead in the match. In that game, LOUD ran circles around DFM in the late game, winning largely through tanky frontline champions like Olaf and Amumu. 

Ceos’ Amumu is the only champion the LOUD support found any victories on at all this tournament, as he posted a 4–1 record with the Sad Mummy and an 0–5 run with all others. Intelligently, DFM banned Amumu on the first rotation of each ensuing draft throughout the remainder of the series following their opening loss. 

With comfort picks firmly off the board, DFM hunkered down. The LJL champs led game two in wire-to-wire fashion and refused to surrender the gold lead in game three after forcibly taking it at the 14-minute mark.

Game four was all but a formality, as the rolling DFM had an advantage well over 10,000 at the 20-minute mark, and shortly closed out the series a few minutes later.

For the perennial Japanese titans, it was AD Yutapon who put the team squarely on his shoulders. In the series-clinching game, Yutapon went 10/0/1 on Kai’Sa and closed out the four-game set with a combined scoreline of 34/8/20. 

Screengrab via Esportsbet

Yutapon, like the majority of his team, found wins on three different League champions in this series. Four of the five players on DFM did not repeat any of their picks across tonight’s victories. The only player to do so was top laner Evi, who played Gnar in all three wins.

It’s a short turnaround for DFM, who have to play another best-of-five a little under 24 hours from now against a much more striking opponent in Royal Never Give Up. Had DFM won yesterday’s tiebreaker games, they could have been on the opposite side of the play-in stage knockout bracket awaiting a potential matchup with MAD Lions, who won earlier today. 

Instead, it’ll be the MSI champions for DFM. They’ll face each other for the first time in their respective franchise histories tomorrow, in spite of the fact they’ve both attended all four of the last major international League tournaments alongside each other.

Should DFM win that match, they’ll advance to the Worlds group stage for the second consecutive season.

Worlds action continues tomorrow with Evil Geniuses vs. MAD Lions at 1pm CT. 

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