DFM fire LoL coaches after abuse claims as player tol2 flees team house

DFM top laner tol2Joe Brady/ Riot Games

In a series of tweets, DetonatioN FocusMe top laner Haruki ‘tol2’ Shibata revealed that he has fled the organization’s team house due to alleged abuse from his coaches. The following day, both coaches were fired from the organization.

In a series of tweets posted on July 6, the 20-year-old Japanese top laner described enduring verbal abuse from the team’s coaches over a long period of time. He said that the team’s head coach, Kazuta ‘Kazu’ Suzuki, denigrated and threatened him, to the point where he thought his life was in danger.

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He also claimed that another coach, Kyohei ‘Ceros’ Yoshida, has been verbally abusive. “When I saw a dog walking, I was told, ‘Hey, you’re a dog too,'” he wrote.

tol2 said he fled the DFM team house on July 6 following threats from Kazu.

“I wanted to play in tomorrow’s game, but I don’t know what they will do when I return to [the gaming house],” he said.

tol2 tweetTwitter
tol2 sent out a series of tweets alleging abuse from his coaches.

In other tweets, he said he consulted a “senior in the industry” about the power abuse dynamic in the team and that DFM’s CEO, Nobuyuki Umezaki, found out. The executive allegedly told tol2 that if he spoke with another person about the situation, he would be unable to play in the Japanese League of Legends league.

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tol2 also claimed he was fined by the organization for this.

DFM tol2 alleges abuse from coaches: “There was no escape”

The Japanese player also revealed that he was diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder this Spring.

DFM LoL top laner tol2 tweetTwitter
DFM has a spot in the LJL and VCT Pacific.

He recounted a time with the team at the 2023 Mid-Season Invitation in which he could not stop crying and had to be consoled by his teammate Ryo ‘Milan’ Nakamoto. The team failed to make it out of the play-in portion of the event.

tol2 is a 20-year-old player who was previously signed with the Japanese team AXIZ. He joined DFM in 2022 in their academy team and was promoted to the main team in 2023.

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“I apologize to all the fans,” he wrote. “I need help. I’ll tell you everything when I calm down.

“I haven’t slept in a long time and can’t tweet anymore.”

DetonatioN FocusMe and Riot Games have yet to comment on the situation. The team is currently leading the LJL Summer standings with a 4-0 record ahead of July 7’s match against Crest Gaming Act.

DFM fire coaches following investigation

A screenshot of DFM's official statementTwitter
DFM have investigated the allegations from tol2

The allegations against the coaches of DetonatioN FocusMe by their toplaner tol2 have led to the team releasing an official statement. DFM confirmed they have conducted interviews with all three parties involved and investigated the matter.

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Following the investigation, both coaches were released. DFM stated:

“As a result of confirming the facts, it is true that two coaches, Kazu and Ceros, made statements that could be interpreted as threats and personally insulting.”

The contracts of both coaches were terminated on July 7.

The team also announced that they would be forfeiting their LJL Summer Split Day 9 match, against Crest Gaming Act. “As a result of discussions with the players regarding the above match scheduled for today, we have decided to decline to participate in consideration of the team situation.”

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