We take a dive into what makes Setsuko such a formidable foe and what earned him the nickname “Sweatsuko”.

To many players, sètsuko is a name that they have heard streamers mention, but have never actually seen in action. He is consistently high ranked on the TFT ladder, alongside streaming mainstays such as k3soju, Milk, and robinsongz.

That said, Sètsuko barely streams himself, aside from when he is required to for a tournament. His real name and age is not public knowledge and he never uses a webcam. Sètsuko is all about the TFT and nothing else. He has been affectionately dubbed “sweatsuko” by many, but what makes him a sweat and brings him the tournament success he has found in set 6?

Brief History

Sètsuko started playing TFT in set 1 and first hit Challenger rank in set 3. His breakout didn’t come until set 4, when he started establishing himself as a consistently high-ranked threat, and hit rank 1 for the first time, at which point streamers started to take notice and began talking about him.

sètsuko’s tournament history from Set 4 onward, courtesy of Liquipedia

As far as tournament history goes, sètsuko found his first significant result in Fates Challenger Series #2, placing 3rd. He is fairly consistent in making the final day and has achieved 2nd place in two different Challenger Series. However, he has yet to score his first major tournament win.

Sètsuko was also was voted #8th in the TFT NA Power Rankings here on Esports.gg.

Playstyle

The super short version of sètsuko’s playstyle: AD flex, hard econ until stage 4, play around 4 costs. Let’s actually unpack that and go stage by stage.

On opening carousels, sètsuko typically prioritizes an AD item component, which one being dependent on what is good in the current meta. During Mid-Set Finale, he favoured Recurve Bow (the consensus among high level players is Bow is the best AD item component).

Setsuko also showed a willingness to start with B.F. Sword in order to guarantee he started with an AD item, having actively prioritized that item as his first choice during the finals of Set 6 Challenger Series, when 5 other players in the lobby were prioritizing bow start.

Stage 2

Sètsuko’s stage 2 is all about making econ while still maintaining board strength. Other players, such as Kiyoon, Spencer, or any Assassin reroll degen, will often fully commit to a 5 loss while not leveling and making as much gold as possible.

Sètsuko will instead still take standard early levels (level 4 at 2-1, level 5 at 2-5) in order to save HP at the cost of some econ. He’s trying to make it to stage 4; if he were to open fort, he would have to roll on stage 3 or risk dying too quickly, defeating the purpose of econning up in order to roll for 4 costs on level 8 in stage 4.

Early Unit choices

As far as unit choices go, sètsuko loves his Yordles. Yordles are the most reliable way to quickly build your econ in Set 6 and 6.5, and can maintain a healthy loss streak or even win streak, depending on items, other units hit, and the strength of the lobby. Sètsuko has historically been open to playing big gambling traits, such as Fortune in Set 4 and Mercenaries in Set 6.

However, he does not go out of his way to exclusively play around the Mercenary trait. He still holds all the units a typical player would in stage 2. Playing around pairs and good units that synergize with the Yordle boards he builds. He is also willing to slam items to save HP rather than greed components to maximize board strength later.

A typical stage 2 sètsuko board, from Game 1 of Set 6 Mid-Set Finale Finals. We can see Yordles, a Tristana carry with B.F. sword and Recurve Bow left uncombined, as sètsuko needs to greed these items for his carry items later, and an upgraded frontliner (Graves 2) carrying a slammed Warmog’s Armor that contributes to what will become a 6-win streak

Stage 3

Sètsuko’s focus is on one thing: survive and get to stage 4. Since he plays so hard around and is typically looking to fill his board with a bunch of 2 star 4 costs, he does not want to waste any level 8 rolls on any earlier level. He continues to slam items as he sees fit to save HP and rely on his Yordles to keep making him money. Nothing fancy, just survive.

Stage 4 onwards

Stage 4 is sètsuko’s moment to shine. If he has any econ at all, sètsuko will level to 8 on 4-2 (otherwise he will wait until 4-5) and roll for 4 costs. Typically, he is looking to play around 4 cost AD carry that works with his current items (in Set 6, this was Urgot, Yone, Fiora, and Jhin). He is rolling for 2 stars specifically: he will play around whatever carry he can 2 star, even if the rest of the units he is holding don’t necessarily fit.

What makes sètsuko’s stage 4 immaculate are his level 8 rolldowns. A majority of players need two turns to fully pivot from one comp to another while only rolling for units from one comp. Sètsuko takes the same two turns to roll for units from two completely different boards.

He is usually playing around the bodyguard frontline, but still hangs onto Urgots and expertly juggles whether he holds Chemtech/Bruiser frontline for the Urgot board or Bodyguard/Enchanter frontline to better fit Yone, Fiora, or Jhin.

Sètsuko is also willing to mix and match frontlines to carries; playing Bruiser Jhin or Bodyguard Urgot if that is what he hits. His raw roll speed isn’t quite as high as Spencer’s or DQA’s, but the speed at which he mentally processes all his options on level 8 gives him some of the best rolldown ability in the server.

Sètsuko in action

Sètsuko’s 4-2 rolldown from Game 1 of Set 6 Mid-Set Finale Finals. He levels on 4-2 and rolls despite being on only 30 gold, and leaves his board mostly intact aside from swapping his frontline over to Braum/Leona.

He levels despite the abundance of gold because he knows his board falls off in stage 4 and will bleed out too fast if he does not make an upgrade to it immediately:

This is sètsuko’s stage 4 board he arrives at. He is playing a typical Urgot board of…Bodyguards/Enchanters + Urgot. This embodies sètsuko’s stage 4 roll downs: he held the Bodyguards/Enchanters/Seraphine with the intention of playing around Yone 2/Fiora 2 and instead hit Urgot 2 first. He simply slotted the Urgot 2 into the frontline he had and teched in a couple key synergies for Urgot (2 Twinshot and 3 Chemtech with an emblem)

From Stage 5 onward, it’s business as usual. Find the last upgrades he needs, try to go 9, and play for first. All this is set up by sètsuko saving HP pre-stage 4 and nailing his stage 4 rolldowns.

Sètsuko’s effectiveness

Sètsuko’s game plan sounds quite boring: econ and play for AD 4 costs. However, his ability to play around Yordle boards early saves him so much HP that he can still comfortably play stage 4 without being so unhealthy that just one or two bad fights send him 8th.

In weaker lobbies especially on pre-finals days of a tournament, his early Yordle boards will actually win streak him, all but guaranteeing a top 4. This allows him to make final days relatively consistently. However, his econ style early can get punished in stronger lobbies and require more high rolling in stage 4 to recover his game.

In order to win a major tournament, sètsuko will need a good degree of highroll in order to not get punished in the early game whatsoever, but his mid-late game are a force to be reckoned with. It will continue to lead him to consistently good placements and cement his spot as a tournament threat.


If you enjoyed this TFT profile, be sure to check out Iniko’s piece on Jeffrey “Milk” Pan.

Riley

Riley "Jirachy" Matties

TFT Commentator | Twitter: @JirachyTFT | Twitch: JirachyTFT

Riley "Jirachy" Matties is a TFT caster and retired pro who has reached challenger every set since Set 4. They currently cast for GSTV/Riot events while working on a master's in classical trombone. They can be found streaming TFT games and pro player VOD reviews on their Twitch!