TSM: Top 5 Interesting Things We Learned about the Doublelift Trade

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images.
Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images. /

Now that the dust has settled and Doublelift has returned to TSM, new details about the end of his tenure with Team Liquid have come to light.

It wouldn’t be the LCS without some offseason drama. Today, it became official that Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng is rejoining TSM following a trade. While that was certainly not news given the previous reports, some new information has come to light in the releases by the teams and Doublelift himself.

Here are five interesting tidbits that came out from the information released today on Doublelift’s vlog and other sources.

1. The Doublelift/Xmithie Connection Remains Strong

In his Vlog explaining his perspective of what transpired, Doublelift made it very clear that he was not in favor of blowing up the Team Liquid roster that made MSI finals and flamed out in Worlds last year. He stated that he told Team Liquid’s ownership that he wanted to make the roster with Jake “Xmithie” Puchero work and put a lot of value on his and Xmithie’s coordination in shotcalling.

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He also really seemed to have a lot of solid perspective about how hard it was for TL to accomplish four-straight championships and how he wasn’t convinced that changing the roster would be advisable. In fact, he pointed out that he had also been in favor of keeping the 2018 Team Liquid roster – which included Eugene “Pobelter” Park as mid laner and Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung as support – despite their failing at Worlds 2018.

However, the most interesting nugget that Doublelift gave was that he was the only one advocating to keep Xmithie after 2019. He also noted that the mid/jungle dysfunction that ultimately cost Liquid at Worlds was put more on Xmithie than Nicolaj “Jensen” Jensen, which he thought was unfair (and I completely agree with). Perhaps there is a world where the two reunite on TSM in the future?

2. The Motivation Issue

Doublelift acknowledged and apologized for his attitude and poor motivation early in the split numerous times. There was really no hiding from it, given his public quotes about spring not mattering and his poor play. However, he also gave some good perspective as to why this decline in motivation happened.

As many theorized, Doublelift felt the team was a bit hamstrung by the visa issues that plagued starting jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen. He also confirmed that during the time they were unable to practice with Broxah, the team practiced with three different junglers: Shern “Shernfire” Cherng Tai, who would eventually play in Broxah’s absence; Eugene “Pobelter” Park, who was initially a position coach for his former org before being signed to start for CLG; and Michael “MikeYeung” Yeung.

Not playing with their future starting jungler for a third of the split is an issue in and of itself, but the fact that TL appeared to be frantically going through multiple options, seemingly unprepared for a fairly obvious possibility, would frustrate anyone. Especially after he advocated that the team not make the change that caused all these issues to arise.

That shouldn’t excuse his poor performance and lack of motivation (as he himself said), but if a player like Doublelift was getting such poor direction from his management and low-quality practice time, it’s easy to understand why his motivation could be affected.