Now that Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s move to TSM is official, the outspoken League of Legends pro decided to upload a video detailing his experience at Team Liquid and what exactly led to his dramatic antics and poor performance throughout the Spring Split. The talented AD Carry also wanted to clear up some rumors about his move back to TSM.
The video started out with Doublelift discussing last year’s disappointing performance at the World Championship. Team Liquid ultimately lost out in a competitive group stage, which led some in the team and staff to believe that jungler Jake “Xmithie” Puchero was LIquid’s weakest link. This was not something Doublelift agreed with at all. He even stated he was the only one who fought for Xmithie to stay on the team after their 2019 run.
“The reason why, me and Jake had great communication and the team’s decisions were a lot smoother and cleaner,” Doublelift said of Xmithie’s time on the team. “He was really important to the team. While we did have a weak jungle at Worlds, it was not his [sole] problem.”
Despite Doublelift vouching for his teammate of over two years, everyone else wanted a new jungler for the 2020 season.
“I felt that was unreasonable,” Doublelift said.
Doublelift then made it clear that he had no problem with their new jungler, Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen. He called him “super accomplished,” as well as a “great” person, teammate, and player. But despite growing close to Broxah, Doublelift felt that TL had “thrown away” a good thing by getting rid of Xmithie.
This was the reason, Doublelift revealed, that he had lost his motivation at the start of the Spring Split.
“Obviously, I was really unmotivated at the very beginning. It was not fair to my teammates. I apologized numerous times to teammates and to the public. I should have given it my focus,” he said, noting that if he had a teammate like himself at the start of the Spring Split, he’d “punch” him.
But even though he knew he was supposed to remain competitive no matter the circumstance, Doublelift just found himself feeling lethargic. It wasn’t an excuse, he said, just some explanation as to what happened and why.
Doublelift grew more and more frustrated as the season went on, since he felt like he was “waiting for the real roster” due to Broxah’s ongoing visa issues. Meanwhile, the team had a lot of different subs throughout the weeks, which only made Doublelift yearn for their 2019 roster with Xmithie.
Then Doublelift got sick in the middle of the split and was benched. He was told he had a terrible attitude and wasn’t playing well. While DL didn’t deny this, there was another reason the benching frustrated him. According to Doublelift, his teammates had given feedback to the coaches, who never gave that feedback directly to him.
“In my opinion, in my world, the coaches would give me that feedback. My teammates gave it to them with the expectation that I would hear it, even anonymously,” he said.
This was what led to Doublelift’s since-deleted interview with journalist Travis Gafford. After complaining about his coaches seemingly benching him “out of nowhere,” Doublelift asked Gafford if he could delete the interview and post a new one without as much negative attitude toward the coaching staff.
Now, Doublelift has made it public once again: He wanted a warning or some feedback instead of being “immediately” benched.
“One reason behind it is they used it as an excuse to bench me, which is possible. Another one is they ddin’t feel it was really important to tell me [the feedback]. I’m not sure what happened there but I felt that was really strange and I felt a bit blindsided by the whole situation,” he said.
When Doublelift finally had the option to work his way back onto the main roster, he felt only Broxah and Team Liquid’s co-founder, Steve Arhancet, were supportive of him. He said that Steve had been “transparent” and attempted to “figure out what happened.” Meanwhile, Broxah was someone “from the inside” that he could “lean on.”
When Team Liquid lost to Counter Logic Gaming, the 10th place team in the Spring Split, they sent Doublelift back in. But Doublelift felt he couldn’t perform up to his standards since he was on edge throughout the remainder of the season.
“I realized that my relationship with my teammates was messed up by then,” he said.
He was being told he was doing “too many calls” and found himself often holding back his opinion to “not get benched again.” Walking on eggshells and trying to be on his “best behavior,” Doublelift admitted that he was honestly afraid of losing his job at that point. For this reason, he found himself holding back his opinions and “picking battles.”
But even though he felt he was doing his best to be cooperative, Doublelift started to feel slighted when he started geting subbed during scrims. At that point, he admitted he was not sure what he could even do to help the team find success.
“It’s just a mess. An absolute mess. We did not do well the rest of the split. We did not look good,” Doublelift said.
After not making it to the playoffs, Doublelift spent a few weeks talking with Arhancet about his goals with Team Liquid. He told the Team Liquid owner that his number one priority was to “finish the Summer Split strong” with Team Liquid. Arhancet seemed to be in agreement with letting Doublelift prove himself in the next split, but the AD Carry started to feel Arhancet was the only one who felt that way.
Doublelift admitted that he had started to feel like his team had “never forgiven him” for his “mistakes.”
“I’ve seen people go through huge slumps. I’ve hard carried people through slumps in the past six years. It’s a fact of competitive League of Legends: you’re not going to be playing your best forever. I went through a slump at beginning of Spring Split. I own up to that,” Doublelift said, adding that he felt his team wasn’t appreciative of him “trying his best” to change it around and wasn’t offering any support or forgiveness.
Doublelift then brought up the time that Joo-sung “Olleh” Kim, Team Liquid’s former support, had tilted in last year’s MSI, basically giving up in the middle of the competition. He recalled still supporting Olleh and telling his team that Olleh was capable of more.
“I almost never give up on my teammates,” he said.
But that wasn’t the same vibe Doublelift was getting from the current roster.
“The whole situation felt unfair to me. I felt I was forcing myself back into a team that didn’t want to play with me. Do I want to spend the rest of the year like my job is always on the line and I’m constantly being haunted by my mistake?” he said.
Speaking with Arhancet again, he learned there was a possibility that he’d be traded. He asked Doublelift for his desired teams and Doublelift gave him a “very short list.”
“I’d rather retire than go to a shittier team,” he stated.
TSM was on the list.
According to DL, Arhancet was cooperative. Doublelift knew he could have been sent anywhere, even a bottom-tier organization, but Arhancet didn’t do that.
Doublelift said that he’d enjoyed playing on TSM in the past and that he’s excited to play for them once again come Summer Split.
“If I rejoin TSM and we don’t make Worlds, that will be an awful look. This is a do or die situation on TSM. I’m going to give it 110 percent and earn the fans’ and teammates’ trust,” Doublelift said. “I said a lot of dumb shit. I played really bad. We went from a first place team to ninth, which is not acceptable.”
For Doublelift, playing with TSM will be his redemption story. He’s especially excited to play with Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg.
“I don’t want to get you guys too hype, but this is potentially a pretty crazy team that could do some pretty crazy things,” Doublelift said.
Doublelift then took some time to clear up some rumors. He said that he was not poached from Team Liquid and that he did not intentionally sabatoge Team Liquid just to get traded to TSM. As someone with a lot of competitive spirit and pride, that rumor particularly bothered him. He called the theory ridiculous.
With that out of the way, it’s time to see if Doublelift will get his redemption in Summer Split now that he’s a part of a new team.