Ceros, the long-time midlaner for DetonatioN FocusMe, has announced his retirement from League of Legends after a 9 year career.

Kyohei “Ceros” Yoshida has announced his retirement after a rich career in competitive League of Legends. While the Japanese player did not achieve much in the way of World’s glory, he and DFM have dominated Japanese League of Legends for years now. His team has consistently made it to the Worlds stage.

Ceros retires to the coaching chair

He is the face of the League of Legends scene in the country and has become synonymous with success in the game for the next generation of rising Japanese pros.

Ceros involvement with League of Legends alongside DetonatioN FocusMe continues, but not as an active player. Instead, he will help man the coaching staff alongside the current roster of coaches, with the announcement noting he would “continue to strive for the development of the Japanese esports world” alongside the team.

“To be frank, I have decided not to register as a player for this upcoming LJL split,” he said. “I have retired as a player and will be involved with the team as a coach. In 2013, FocusMe, which was an amateur team, joined DetonatioN Gaming, and that’s when DFM started working as a professional team. That was in 2013, so it’s been nine years. I’ve been active until today. I believe the reason I have been able to be active for so long is because of all the people involved with the team, LJL, and all the fans who have supported us. So I’m really grateful for that.”

Ceros notes that while he has been a substitute player for the last year since the arrival of Lee “Aria” Ga-eul he has already been acting like a coach. While Aria left for KT Rolster late last year, the experience gave Ceros all he needed to want to coach more.

“Aria is a really good player with a lot of potential and skill, but when I saw him in a team game, he had some rough edges,” Ceros noted of his replacement in mid-lane. “Since I played the same position, it may sound very patronizing to say that I taught him, but I hope that by sharing my experience and knowledge with him, he becomes a better player more efficiently. He absorbed what I said, and I wanted to see how far Aria could go. That’s why I was able to feel the joy and happiness of coaching.”

Ceros credits meeting DFM owner Umezaki as “turning point” in his career

“Meeting Umezaki-san, the owner of DNG, was a big turning point for me. I was able to come this far because of my encounter with Umezaki-san and he is the most enthusiastic of all the LJL owners, I can assure you of that. Throughout my professional life, he has been building a team that can win. If a player wants to do something, he’s made it happen. He sees things from the player’s perspective and always fights for the goal of winning. To be honest, I don’t talk about this kind of thing very often because I’m embarrassed, but since this is the occasion, I’d like to thank him for it. I couldn’t have made it this far without you, and I’m really grateful for that.”

Ceros on the impact of DFM owner and CEO Nobuyuki Umezaki.

This sentiment was reflected by Umezaki, who helped discover Ceros and elevate him to pro status.

“The nine years I’ve spent with Ceros are the very history of DNG, and all the glorious moments have been accomplished with him,” Nobuyuki Umezaki, CEO of Detonation FocusMe said. “There is no doubt that he is one of the great players not only for DFM but also for Japanese LoL and esports.”

Day 1 at 2018 World Championship Play-In at LoL PARK in Seoul, Korea, on 1 October 2018. Photo via Riot Games.

DFM and Ceros are Japanese League of Legends

DetonatioN FocusMe was one of Japan’s first League of Legends esports teams. They were instrumental in the foundation of the League of Legends Japan League. DFM publicized the game in Japan and were the first team to make appearances overseas from the region. In particular, they impressed at events like Intel Extreme Masters.

In the time since Ceros has become a pro player, esports has progressed by leaps and bounds in Japan. Japanese law making it hard for players to claim prize money due to its false correlation with gambling. However, the foundation of the Japan Esports Association (which the LJL was instrumental in pushing forward) made the dream a reality for these players. Thanks to the JeSPA pro licenses, players like Ceros could make a career out of playing League of Legends.

Here are just some of Ceros’ achievements with DetonatioN FocusMe in his storied 9-year career:

  • 9 LJL championships
  • 3 Worlds appearances
  • 2 Mid-Season Invitational appearances.
  • 2017 Rift Rivals Champion: GPL vs LJL vs OPL

“I have a strong attachment to DFM, and I want DFM to be the team that wins the LJL and be successful in international tournaments. Up until now, my priority has been the results in the competitive scene, and to be honest, I haven’t been too enthusiastic about fan exposure or fanservice. I feel pretty bad about that, but when I was a player, I always tried to put the results first.”

In that vein, Ceros announced that he would be also be focusing on becoming a content creator for DFM. You can check out some of his YouTube content on his channel.


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Dustin Steiner

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