After falling to PSG Talon in a tough best-of-three series, DFM’s Aria spoke to for an exclusive.

The 2023 Mid-Season Invitational has officially begun! The best League of Legends squads will do battle in London, England over the next three weeks. PSG Talon and DetonatioN FocusMe have already proven the new best-of-three play-in format is a big upgrade after an entertaining series. Following their 2-0 defeat to PSG, DFM Aria sat down with for an exclusive interview.

The new MSI format sees the elimination of best-of-one matches. In its place will be best-of-threes in the play-in stage, and a double-elimination best-of-five tournament in the bracket stage. Despite both best-of-threes ending in a 2-0 victory for PSG and G2 respectively, both series proved to be entertaining.

"Thank you so much for taking the time to talk today. We were so close to game three, can you walk us through what went wrong in games one and two?"

DFM Aria: "So game number one, I think it was a good start, up until the herald fight. You know, we were in a pretty good setup, but our engage was so off, and then we lost the team fight really badly, we all died and they got the herald so it was pretty much over.

And then game two, I think was a game that we weren't supposed to lose at all, but because we were leading so bad, and then when we were rotating towards Baron, you know, we could just take it slow, but we were actually getting sucked in by the opponent, we were just rushing in.

So like if we were able to take it slow and just hit them with our wallet It was gonna be fine. We just let the Aphelios do his damage, and then they got the Baron as well, so the game was completely reset, and then yeah, it was starting from the baseline at this point. So I’m just still thinking that we were not supposed to lose that one."

"Do you think that could be down to first series nerves? I know you’ve played on the international stage for a long time as this team, but do you think it could have been like new stage, new environment nerves?"

DFM Aria: "Yeah, we did feel a bit nervous on stage the first day, but I don’t think that’s on the level where it can actually influence our performance, so I would say no."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: DetonatioN FocusMe competes at the League of Legends - Mid-Season Invitational Play-Ins Stage on May 2, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: DetonatioN FocusMe competes at the League of Legends - Mid-Season Invitational Play-Ins Stage on May 2, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"So now you’ll be facing the loser of G2 or LOUD. Who would you prefer to play? I don’t know if you were able to watch just before this interview, but Caps is playing Nautilus mid. I don’t know what your thoughts are on that, and if you have any picks to counteract any surprises he may have."

DFM Aria: "As a team, we would prefer LOUD for sure. I just saw G2 playing that game with their draft and it was definitely different from our kind of style, you know, they are playing Nautilus in the mid-lane. We’ll have to really prepare well in order to deal with those pocket picks if G2 loses."

"This is your first international appearance since 2021. How would you compare yourself back then to where you are now with DFM? 

DFM Aria: "I think my influence on the map has become a lot wider, and my vision of the game has gotten a lot wider, and I now have more thoughts about in-game information."

"What was your reasoning for coming back to DFM after moving to the LCK?"

DFM Aria: "To put it simply, I was not performing at the best level when I was in LCK. It definitely was a great chance for me to learn more about the game, but we were not a perfect match, to be honest. After that, I actually took a lot of time to think about where I should go during the off-season.

I realized if I can not make it to the global events in Korea, I should rather find other teams that I can actually perform internationally with. And also, I’ve been to DFM before, and I’ve done it before, so I thought it would be a lot more comfortable for me as well, so I took DFM."

"The final question I have is about the format changes, do you prefer the changes to best-of-threes?"

DFM Aria: I prefer the best of 3 format a lot more because even if we lose the first game we can adjust our strategy, so it’s way better in terms of gameplay.

DetonatioN FocusMe will now take on LOUD on May 4 in the first lower-bracket best-of-three of the tournament. You can check out all of the results with our MSI 2023 schedule and results page.

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