Multiple sources close to the situation have revealed that Team Liquid has put Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng’s contract up for trade.
While Team Liquid hasn’t announced the big move themselves, League of Legends journalist and content creator Travis Gafford has come forward with the news after hearing about it from multiple sources. According to Gafford, multiple teams have informed him that Doublelift is up for sale and will likely be traded to a different team between the Spring and Summer Split. Gafford noted that he hasn’t asked Doublelift himself.
The decision was most likely made due to Team Liquid not making the Spring Split playoffs. This is a big disappointment for the team, who won four playoff titles back to back leading up to the 2020 season. Once known as the undisputed best North American team, they came into this year’s competition seemingly unprepared and dishelved. At first, this seemed due to Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen’s ongoing visa issues which led to substitutes and weak performances.
But once Broxah made it to Los Angeles, it became clear that there was something else wrong with the team. And that problem was Doublelift.
Despite being known as one of the best players in the LCS, Doublelift was benched by Team Liquid at the beginning of March due to a lack of motivation. After losing multiple matches in a row while playing Senna, Doublelift had the worst KDA of any ADC in the LCS. On top of that, he had been quoted as saying that the Spring Split didn’t even matter. While many other competitors have agreed that the Spring Split isn’t too important in the current LCS format, it was his attitude that made his opinion stand out.
“I’m benched because I had no motivation until very recently,” Doublelift tweeted after being benched.
In an eposide of Squad, Doublelift also admitted that his attitude was affecting the team as a whole. Team Liquid’s coaching staff had brought this up to him, discussing a “lack of commitment and discipline.”
Even when Doublelift came back to the starting lineup, Team Liquid wasn’t doing much better. But it wasn’t just their in-game performance that seemed to be suffering. It was the team’s attitude, mainly Doublelift’s. In a since-deleted interview with Gafford, Doublelift called out his coaches for how they allegedly abruptly benched him. He also flamed his teammates for “doing nothing.” While trash talking is part of Doublelift’s persona, it apparently wasn’t the right time to use that kind of “tone” and Doublelift asked for a redo when the community started calling out his coaches.
Even though Team Liquid never spoke about the negative interview, it seems that Doublelift’s ongoing negativity has become more of a liability than his name brand is worth. The organization hasn’t announced Doublelift’s departure publicly and it could just be a rumor, but the community has been expecting something like this for some time now. Some speculated that Doublelift would become a streamer instead, while others felt Team Liquid was sick of his attitude altogether.
There are six months left on Doublelift’s contract, bringing him to the end of December. Because of that, Gafford felt the move was a little strange. He also wasn’t sure if he even played poorly enough to be traded. Gafford also speculated that no team would be willing to pay a good chunk of change to break Doublelift’s contract, meaning wherever he ends up will be for more than six months and will instead be his home “for the forseeable future.”
“Unless their relationship has super soured, I don’t think [Team Liquid owner] Steve would send him to a team he does not want to go to,” Gafford continued.
This possibilty makes Doublelift’s new home “more limited,” since he’d never be traded to a “crap team.” Gafford’s guess is that Doublelift will end up on Cloud9, Evil Geniuses or TSM.