LCS: Three Reasons TSM is a Contender Again With Doublelift

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
Doublelift, Team Liquid, LCS, League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

One of the best players in LCS history, Doublelift, is returning to TSM. Here is why this makes the team a true contender again.

If you felt some vibrations, that wasn’t an earthquake but the detonation of a “Wolf bomb.” Today, ESPN’s Jacob Wolf reported that Team Liquid is finalizing a trade to send star ADC Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng back to TSM, the team with which he won two LCS titles back in 2016 and 2017.

While this move is sure to just be the first in a set of dominoes to fall now that the LCS rosters re-set between the Spring and Summer Splits (though this is assuredly the biggest), the big question must be asked. Is TSM now a true contender in the LCS with their current roster and Doublelift?

My answer: yes. For three big reasons.

1. Existing Synergy

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first, Doublelift is re-joining TSM and reuniting with two of his former teammates from those championship years: mid laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and support Vincent “Biofrost” Wang. Not only does he have experience playing with both, but he has remained very good friends with the pair, in particular Biofrost, even after his exit from TSM. There should be little to no growing pains setting up the bot lane’s chemistry.

More from Blog of Legends

While some fans have expressed concern that Doublelift might not mesh with TSM’s Sergen “Broken Blade” Çelik, who tends to be more resource-heavy and play carries, Broken Blade’s top four champions last year were Sett, Aatrox, Ornn, and Gangplank.

The champion pool of Liquid’s top laner Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong? Sett, Ornn, Mordekaiser, Gangplank.

That’s not to say that Impact plays the same style of lane or demands the same level of resources as Broken Blade. But the fact that they had very similar champion pools last year and that Broken Blade actually had lower jungle proximity than Impact (this was before LCS went online, however, and I was unable to capture the remaining stats via Pro View), I don’t think there will be as big an issue as many fear.

2. Finally, a Shotcaller

In case you were not aware, TSM’s mid and late game shotcalling last split was terrible. Oracle’s Elixir rated TSM in the bottom half of the LCS in their mid/late game rating and they were even worse in the playoffs. TSM has been searching for a confident shotcaller ever since Doublelift left (that’s why they originally brought in Zven and Mithy) and now they have that back.

But, you might counter, Team Liquid was actually one of the worst mid/late game teams last year too (per Oracle’s Elixir). However, you need to remember that Doublelift said that shotcalling duties were taken away from him. It’s entirely possible that Doublelift needed to be the shotcalling voice on that team and could have improved Liquid’s macro late game if he was empowered to do so again.

Regardless, it’s going to be hard to be a downgrade from how bad TSM’s mid and late game was in the spring. If they can meld that early game strength they had with the mid and late game shotcalls from Doublelift, this team could be deadly.

3. Motivation

As I pointed out, even with Doublelift admitting that he wasn’t taking LCS seriously in the spring, he still managed to pan out as a middle-of-the-pack ADC by the split’s end. If there’s one thing we know about Doublelift, it’s that revenge is his favorite motivator.

Next. Ranking the 50 greatest LCS players of all time. dark

In his first split after being kicked from TSM, Doublelift posted some of his most impressive stats ever, including a ridiculous 35.33 KDA in Liquid’s run to their first LCS title. Now, he’s re-joining TSM with that same chip on his shoulder to prove everyone wrong who said he was washed up after one down split. Can you imagine how motivated he will be now, with everyone counting him out?

Plus, TSM’s other players should be re-energized being able to play with one of the LCS’s best players ever. After an uneven split where they struggled to find an identity, Doublelift should light a fire under all of them to be better and bring TSM back to glory. It’s going to be a fun story to watch this summer.