The four-time LCS season champions came into the Summer Split with something to prove. After placing ninth in the Spring Split, it became quite clear that some things had to change. The first was dropping their long-time Leauge of Legends coach Kang "Dodo" Jun-hyeok, who Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng had accused of poor communication. The organization then dropped Doublelift, who spent the entirety of the Spring Split saying that the competition didn't really matter.
Doublelift later opened up about some of his issues with the organization, including being suddenly benched without prior warning and feeling like his teammates wouldn't forgive him for his rough start to the split. Doublelift also praised Team Liquid owner Steve Arhancet for supporting him during that time and allowing him to leave for TSM.
Doublelift made it quite clear leading up to the Summer Split that he wanted to "destroy" his former team for "not treating him well."
"I want to humiliate them. I want to embarrass them. It's a new wave of motivation for me. It's a new source of fuel," Doublelift said.
He then told Team Liquid that they should be scared.
In response, Team Liquid made a video of them laughing at Doublelift's warning. In a video posted on Twitter, the organization stated that it's not "what you say" but rather "what you do," hinting that Doublelift was not much of a threat if his Spring Split performance was anything to go by.
And it looks like Team Liquid was right to giggle at Doublelift's words. They ended up easily taking down TSM in just 25 minutes in their first match of the Summer Split.
Team Liquid looking strong in Summer Split
When WIN.gg spoke with Cloud9's Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen before the first week of the LCS, he admitted that the only real threat going into the Summer Split was Team Liquid. This was news that shocked a lot of the League of Legends community after TL's Spring Split showing. But it seems that removing Doublelift was the key to their renewed success.
TSM was unable to do much of anything during the match. Their jungle, Mingyi "Spica" Lu, underperformed as Kayn. It took him 23 minutes to gain his Kayn transformation, leaving his squad at a marked disadvantage and potentially confirming the fears of TSM fans who thought their young jungler might not have what it takes.
Meanwhile, Team Liquid rookie ADC Edward "Tactical" Ra had a 7/0/6 performance on Aphelios. He even killed Doublelift two times near the beginning of the match. With Yong-In "CoreJJ" Jo's support, Tactical seemed almost unstoppable. Team Liquid pulled ahead fast, and at just 25 minutes had established a 13,000 gold lead and to overtake TSM.
Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen, someone Doublelift claimed supported him throughout Spring Split despite his feeling alienated from his other teammates, told him to "keep the mood up," tweeting that Doublelift "would be back."
On the win, Broxah tweeted: "That was pretty clean. Feels good to be part of the first game this split, and couldn't have hoped for a better start!"