After harassment investigations, Riot suspends former DFM LoL coaches and fines the organization

Since the beginning of time, DetonatioN FocusMe has been regarded as the best Japanese League of Legends squad, consistently representing the LJL at MSI and Worlds. However, the organization has recently run into trouble, and Riot Games has launched official inquiries into allegations of internal abuse.

Riot and the League Japanese League (LJL) have released their inquiry findings and decision about DFM’s current and former staff after a month of investigation. Former trainers Kyohei “Ceros” Yoshida and Kazuta “Kazu” Suzuki have been formally suspended for a period of six months, while CEO Nobuyuki “LGraN” Umezaki must go through education on harassment that a third party provides.

After harassment investigations, Riot suspends former DFM LoL coaches and fines the organization:

An automated translation of the article revealed that the official investigation followed the LJL official rules to determine the “presence or absence of harassment, broader violations, such as discrimination or assault, and measures against harassment as an organization.”

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Two rule violations involving harassment and unethical conduct were discovered, both of which had been done “over a significant period of time with the intent to isolate or exclude an individual or to affect an individual’s dignity.” As a result of the LJL investigation, former coaches Ceros and Kazu have been penalized and barred from participation in any League esports for six months.

“We confirmed there were words and actions that could be considered harassment through hearings with relevant parties and materials submitted. Prohibition of all activities related to LoL esports for six months following the announcement of this award under the Official Rules of LJL and Global Penalty Index (GPI).”

The company was also ordered to strengthen its current anti-harassment policies and pay a fine of 2,000,000 yen for failing to prevent harassment within the firm. DFM has complied with this responsibility by publishing the updated organization rules on its official website. These rules include that all current players, streamers, and coaches in the organization have been thoroughly investigated and that all members must complete new compliance training within a week after the LJL’s decision.

The harassment training for the entire organization, including their CEO, will be delivered by GameWith Compliance Committee, a third-party service, in collaboration with DFM. Additionally, within four months, Nobuyuki Umezaki must complete an obligation harassment education course provided by a third party, and he must provide proof to the LJL Officials.

Starting top laner Haruki “tol2” Shibata’s revelation on July 7 about his relationship with DFM management and how he was forced to flee its gaming facility “in fear for his life” after receiving numerous threats and verbal abuse from head coach Kazu and former mid-laner-turned-coach Ceros brought DFM to public attention for the first time.

One day after tol2 made his claims, DFM acknowledged them formally and decided to immediately terminate Kazu and Ceros. A machine translation of the organization’s statement claims that DFM discovered that their coaching staff “made statements that could be interpreted as threats,” and that they also realized the necessity of enhancing the structure and communication within the esports squad.

The Fukuoka HAWKS Gaming team, which DFM previously defeated 3-2 in the upper bracket finals, will be DFM’s opponent in the LJL Playoffs grand final. The victor of the series will be awarded the LJL Summer Split champions and represent the league as the only seed at Worlds. The final series will begin on Saturday, August 19 at 11 PM CT, and fans may watch it on the official RiotGamesJP Twitch and LoL Esports JP Youtube streams.

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