Team Liquid’s Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng is benched due to motivation problems, the bottom laner confirmed the situation through Twitter.
Liquid has decided to bench Doublelift for the foreseeable future. Co-CEO Steve Arhancet said on Twitter that the team is evaluating the situation week to week, but for now Edward “Tactical” Ra is the starter. Liquid signed Richard “Rikara” Oh as the new bottom laner for Team Liquid Academy, so Tactical and Doublelift can focus on the LCS.
Tactical started over Doublelift in Week 6 when the player was recovering from laryngitis, but apparently there was more behind the decision. On his debut in the LCS, Tactical proved to be a good fit for the team and a more than capable player. With Tactical on the rotation, Liquid looked better and the team secured to easy wins.
“I’m benched because I had no motivation until very recently. Being sick and unable to compete gave me my passion back, but too late. I’m sorry towards every one of my teammates and I’ll be working from now on to regain their trust,” Doublelift wrote on Twitter.
Doublelift openly expressed how unmotivated he felt. In a recent episode of Squad, the player accepted that his current level of play is low and that it is affecting the team as a whole. According to Doublelift, he received feedback from the coaching staff that criticized his lack of commitment and discipline. Doublelift, who was considered the best AD carry in North America, has the worst KDA this season and his performance has been criticized by the community.
Doublelift’s struggles might be caused by the changes in the LCS format and his outstanding domestic track record. The new LCS format doesn’t grant championship points in Spring, so the teams are competing for a spot in the Mid-Season Invitational and nothing else. In Summer, all ten teams start with a clean slate and the standings will determine the three teams taking part in the World Championship.
Until this year, Liquid was the best team in the LCS. Liquid set the record as the first team to earn four consecutive domestic titles. No one could take them down and it led to a general discomfort for the players. They assumed that no matter what happened, they would win and as a result, Liquid stopped trying.
The team is addressing the problem internally and the community is reacting to it. Liquid’s streamer Christian “IWillDominate” Rivera called Doublelift out recently. IWillDominate said that Liquid had a better chance with Tactical playing.