DetonatioN FocusMe Looking To 5-Peat In LJL 2023 Spring
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DetonatioN FocusMe Looking To 5-Peat In LJL 2023 Spring

The League of Legends Japanese League (LJL) kicks off on Saturday, January 28, with LJL 2023 Spring, welcoming eight LoL teams competing for the lion’s share of ¥10,000,000 and a ticket for the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational. LJL 2023 Spring will mark the 17th Japan LoL split and the opening split of LJL’s 10th season.

LJL 2023 Spring Format & Schedule

A few weeks after most other League of Legends started their 2023 campaigns, the LoL Japan League (LJL) will kick off its 10th season, with the LJL 2023 Spring, set to begin on Saturday, January 28.

  • Date: January 28 – TBA
  • Where to Watch: Lolesports, Twitch

Despite featuring fewer teams than other LoL leagues, LJL’s competitive format isn’t any shorter. The LJL Spring will start on Saturday and run for nine competitive weeks, each with between four to eight games.

The season will start with just four pairs of games over the weekend, with all other competitive weeks featuring six matches – except for Week 5 and the culminating Week 9, with eight pairs of fixtures apiece.

Like last season, the LJL will welcome eight League of Legends teams, including returning faces in DetonatioN FocusMe, Sengoku Gaming, Fukuoka SoftBank HAWKS, Burning Core, Crest Gaming Act, AXIZ, and V3 Esports. This split, we’ll also get to welcome a new squad in FENNEL, who bought their LJL spot in September from Rascal Jester, who ended their eight years of playing in the LJL.

Besides introducing a new team, the LJL 2023 Spring will also see a slightly changed format for the regular season. The opening split of the year will use a double round-robin format, with each of the eight teams playing 14 matches.

In comparison, the final split of the 2022 season (LJL 2022 Summer) used a triple round-robin format, with each team playing 21 games throughout the regular season. Yet this will not shorten the length of the regular season but will instead reduce the number of games played each competitive week.

The LJL Spring Playoff qualifying process will remain the same. The top six teams from the regular season will advance to the playoffs, with the winners and second-placed teams receiving a direct bye into the Winners’ FInals, whereas third-sixth-placed teams get seeded into Losers’ Round 1.

All Eyes On DetonatioN FocusMe

League of Legends Japan League (LJL) is an interesting league with a unique playstyle and arguably a league with potential. But while we can describe it in many ways, the most recognisable characteristic of the LJL is that the league hasn’t been very competitive over its history.

Since the league’s inception in 2014, there have been six different champions, but just two teams who have won the league more than once – Rampage, who won it three times, and DetonatioN FocusMe, who are by far the most successful team in the league, with 14 titles.

That includes a run of eight titles since 2018 and a streak of four consecutive, starting with Spring 2021. As the most dominant team in the region, DetonatioN FocusMe are expected to consistently perform and be the leading candidate for the LJL crown, and this split is no different.

Priced at just 2.50 (at bet365), DetonatioN FocusMe are the clear favourites to five-peat and win their 15th title, followed by Fukuoka SB Hawks Gaming (4.50 at bet365) and Sengoku Gaming (4.50 at bet365).

The rest of the field sits far behind on the outright betting markets, starting with FENNEL (9.00 at bet365) and followed by AXIZ (10.00 at bet365), Burning Core (10.00 at bet365), Crest Gaming Act (12.00 at bet365), and 2020 Summer champions V3 Esports at 41.00 with bet365.

As the latest LoL betting odds suggest, there are just three teams that can be considered serious candidates to win the LJL crown, and if the past seasons taught us anything, that is likely the case.

Two Big Changes For The Reigning Champions

The LJL teams have all made a plethora of changes ahead of the 2023 season, but two of the most significant roster changes came at DetonatioN FocusMe.

Following the team’s relatively strong showing at LoL World Championship 2023, DetonatioN FocusMe parted ways with two of their players, including mid laner Lee “Yaharong” Chan-ju, and the team’s iconic top laner Shunsuke “Evi” Murase.

Yaharong has since not found a new home, whereas Evi joined Team Heretics in LoL EMEA. To fill in the gaps, DetonatioN FocusMe promoted their academy top laner Haruki “Tol2” Shibata and mid laner Lee “Aria” Ga-eul who will re-join his home team after spending one split in Korea with KT Rolster.

Losing Evi will be noticeable, and it will be interesting to see how the replacement top laner will do in his debut year in the big league. Still, by getting back their former star mid laner, DetonatioN FocusMe have a lot to look forward to as they launch an attack on their fifth consecutive LJL crown.

Complete LJL 2023 Spring Betting Odds & Odds Comparison

Team / BookmakerBet365PinnacleGG.Bet
DetonatioN FocusMe2.50/2.75
Fukuoka SB Hawks Gaming4.50/4.50
Sengoku Gaming4.50/4.50
Burning Core10.00/10.00
Crest Gaming Act12.00/12.00
V3 Esports41.00/41.00

Should You Bet On LJL 2023 Spring?

League of Legends Japan League is one of the smallest LoL leagues in the world and definitely not as popular as LCK, LPL, LEC, or the LCS. However, that doesn’t take away from it being an interesting league to follow and bet on.

Despite being a relatively weak league, the LJL is well-covered by most sportsbooks, including bet365, Pinnacle, and other big names in the industry. Moreover, despite being historically dominated by one team, the LJL has become far more competitive over the last few years, making it an exciting league to watch and bet on.

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