After quite the dramatic and disappointing Spring Split, Team Liquid parted ways with star player Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng due to his poor performance and bad attitude. After his move to TSM became public, Doublelift decided to clear the air about his reasons for leaving TL and why he appeared to have such a negative outlook throughout the entire split.
In a candid video, Doublelift accused the Team Liquid coaching staff of benching him with little warning, not providing him with proper feedback, and making him feel unwelcomed and like he shouldn’t be vocal within the team. All of this left the AD Carry feeling like he was “forcing himself” on a team that didn’t want him, and he ultimately agreed to leave.
While the video has been widely met with support and positive response from the League of Legends community, Team Liquid’s coach, Kang “Dodo” Jun-hyeok appeared frustrated with some of the points Doublelift made.
“I usually don’t want to voice out or talk about events that happened in the past, because I want to put every focus on planning for the future. But there are some unjustified speculations about events that happened in this Spring split, and I wanted to share my perspective and provide some clarification,” Dodo began in a TwitLonger.
My side of the story on Doublelift
— Jun Kang (@TL_Dodo) April 28, 2020
The first point he addressed was Doublelift’s allegations that TL coaches didn’t provide him with feedback given to them by other players on the team. According to Dodo, this was simply not the case.
“First of all, I am not a type of person who tries to avoid conflict with my players and hold any feedback for them. It’s my job to recognize and solve any conflicts, so we can move on and improve as a team,’ Dodo explained.
He went on to discuss Team Liquid’s “frequent” one-on-one meetings with players about their problems, concerns, goals, and feedback. He then addressed Doublelift’s “attitude” during the split, stating that everyone on the team had expressed concern over this. Dodo said that he had given Doublelift feedback about this during a one-on-one meeting, outlining his “lack of motivation, bad attitude towards practice, and lack of respect toward’s coach’s feedback.” These apparently happened before and during the split.
“There is no world where we would let these things go unaddressed. These issues were not getting fixed even after the conversations we had with Peter, until Peter became sick and was benched,” Dodo said.
This led to Doublelift’s next point, where he claimed he was benched with little to no warning. Dodo went on to explain that “stubbornness” and frequent arguments halted the team’s improvement week after week, leading to the coaching staff suggesting that Doublelift share scrim time with Edward “Tactical” Ra, due to the latter player’s “refreshing” outlook. But Doublelift declined, telling coaching staff to simply pick one player or the other. In response, Dodo decided he wanted to see more of Tactical.
“We still had Peter come to practice and participate in meetings and reviews (even though he did not want to), since we still had intentions of using Peter in our future games and didn’t want to give up on him,” Dodo added.
Even though Doublelift was eventually let back onto the team when he apolgoized to everyone for his mistakes, he stated in the video that he felt unwanted and unsupported by his team, even being told to do less shotcalling. According to Dodo, this is something DL had actually always wanted.
“In the past years, Peter always commented on saying that he wants to move away from being a shotcaller and would love to just focus on his own mechanical play and positioning. When he started practicing with the team after being benched, he did speak less and focused on his own play and our teamplay was improving,” Dodo said.
Dodo then stated that the coaching staff had never told him to hold back his opinions.
“Never once we said he should hold back his opinions about the game, and only be a follower to the team. Also if he was feeling like he was threatened with his position to be taken away, then I believe this was his first experience in his life where he had to actively fight for his spot. I don’t think any competitive player (or coaches) should take their place for granted, and should always be motivated and working hard to give it their all,” he said.
“Again, by sharing this information, I’m not trying to put the blame of the team’s failure towards Peter. There were a lot of unjustified speculations from outside on his recent vlog and made me want to share my side of the story,” Dodo stated in his response.
He said he still considers Doublelift a good friend and teammate. He then wished Doublelift nothing but the best.
Dodo admitted the Spring Split was a “failure” and said there was no excuse for it.
“I am not going to blame it on the visa issue for Broxah, player’s motivation issues, roster swap causing synergy issues, and all the bullshit excuses that can be made. It is ultimately the coach’s fault for any team’s failure and I will take all the blame for the team’s failure and I am very sorry to all the fans that supported us. We are planning to do everything we can and make all the necessary changes to make sure we owe up to that mistake and come back stronger for the rest of the year,” Dodo said.
For now, Doublelift’s fans are standing up for Doublelift on Twitter. They’ve been responding negatively to Dodo’s TwitLonger, claiming he only made the statements he did to avoid being fired from the organization.