League pro wins everyone’s hearts with message to his son after Worlds 2023 loss

Carver Fisher
League pro wins everyone's hearts message to his sonColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Detonation FocusMe’s apaMEN is an LJL legend who got called out of retirement in dire circumstances for the team. Though he didn’t manage to bring home a win for Japan’s most iconic team, he had some heartfelt words for his young child as he bowed out of the tournament.

DetonatioN FocusMe has had a rough year. Though they still managed to best every other team in Japan in the LJL, the team’s coaching staff and the owner came under fire after an incident involving Haruki ‘tol2’ Shibata, their prior top laner.

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Shunsuke ‘Evi’ Murase departing the team and going to play for Team Heretics left a void in top lane, one that has yet to be filled. In came Ryo ‘apaMEN’ Odagiri, a well-known LJL player who came out of retirement to go to his first international event at the age of 31.

Though his long overdue international debut didn’t end in success, apaMEN had a heartfelt message for his young son, whom he nicknamed ‘Mo,’ in his final interview before bowing out of Worlds 2023.

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apaMEN wins League fans over with heartfelt message to Mo

MHN, a South Korean publication, sat down for an interview with apaMEN just as he’d been knocked out of contention for Worlds 2023. Unfortunately, the team didn’t manage to win a single match at the event.

This disappointed DFM fans, considering the org has a history of upsetting major regions and exciting matches. Still, perhaps no one was harder on apaMEN than the man himself.

apaMEN with DFM teammatesColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
apaMEN alongside his teammates on DFM

His interview with MHN spoke of interviewer Lee Sol trying to change the subject a few times in a futile attempt to cheer him up and to lighten the mood. However, when the topic of apaMEN’s child came up, he could finally pull the League pro out of the rut he was in with a question about if there were anything he’d like to say to his child.

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As translated by Jesport Hub, here’s apaMEN’s message to Mo, his young son:

“Son, I don’t know what kind of job you’ll have in the future… But I hope you understand one thing. The results might not have been great, but dad really stepped onto a big stage and fought with all his might.

It was like a moment of life and death, just like a person on an airplane flying in the darkness without any sight. But dad didn’t give up. He poured everything into it and wanted to tell everyone that he faced that moment without shame.

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Whether you’ll walk the path of esports like dad or choose a different one, I don’t know. But son, I hope you’ll never give up on what you want to do after seeing dad’s efforts and determination today.

I love you.”

The fact that pro players are getting old enough to have kids of their own shows how the industry itself and the people in it are aging, which may be part of why apaMEN’s message really struck a chord with the League fanbase.

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Though apaMEN may not have been widely known outside of those who are long-time LJL fans, his words have had a massive impact on League fans even if he couldn’t show the performance on stage that he wanted.

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About The Author

Carver is an editor for Dexerto based in Chicago. He finished his screenwriting degree in 2021 and has since dedicated his time to covering League of Legends esports and all other things gaming. He leads League esports coverage for Dexerto, but has a passion for the FGC and other esports. Contact Carver at carver.fisher@dexerto.com