Doublelift to take competitive hiatus, will not compete in 2017 NA LCS Spring Split

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Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng will be taking a competitive hiatus from Team SoloMid during the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split, TSM announced Tuesday. As a result, TSM will not be competing at IEM Oakland in mid-November.

“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not I’m gonna retire, whether my plans are to retire or continue playing,” Doublelift said in a video released by TSM. “And especially, most notably in Worlds I said I didn’t have much left in the tank, sort of alluding to retirement. And yeah, so, I’m here today to announce I will be taking a break, but it won’t be a retirement.”

“I will be taking a break for the Spring Split, but I do plan to come back for Summer. And, y’know, whether it has to be that I fight for my spot or we have a sub system or whatever, I will do my best to come back for Summer.”

The 23-year-old AD carry goes on to say in the team's statement that he wants to focus on streaming and content creation during his break and that “I'll come back if the team needs me - better than before, and better than ever.”

Doublelift has been part of TSM since November 2015, after he was released by Counter Logic Gaming following the 2015 League of Legends World Championship. Since joining TSM, the team has been a powerhouse in the NA scene, coming in 3-4th in IEM Season X, second in the 2016 NA LCS Spring Playoffs, and winning the Summer Playoffs after dominating the Summer Split with an impressive 17-1 record.

“In this last year, I’ve really gotten to know Peter. He has been a great player, a great employee, and a great friend,” Team SoloMid owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh said in a statement. “When TSM was struggling and at our lowest, he pushed himself to step up and together with Soren, they lead the team and brought us from a 6th place team in spring to the finals. He’s an extremely diligent person and I’m sure he’ll find success in whatever he chooses to do.”

However, despite their success in NA, Doublelift had a difficult time at the 2016 LoL World Championships, where Team SoloMid were eliminated from the group stage after a tiebreaker match against Royal Never Give Up. Following the loss to RNG, he posted an emotional Twitlonger apologizing for letting down his fans and teammates.

“I've never been a weak link of any roster I've been on until this moment,” he wrote. “Everyone has felt embarrassment and shame, but have you felt it in this magnitude? I let down my teammates, friends, and millions of fans. It's a crippling feeling of unworthiness that has kept me off social media.”

TSM will be holding open tryouts later this month to find his replacement. However, should Doublelift return for the Summer Split, Reginald says he will have to compete with the new player for the starting position.

“In the event that he decides to come back, we would require him to compete for his old position,” Reginald said. “At the end of the day, we don’t recruit based on popularity, what’s important to TSM is for us to take the best person for the position and win."

However, until the Spring Split ends, Doublelift says he wants to enjoy the sort of normal life he hasn’t had a chance to experience in the six straight years he has dedicated to professional League of Legends.

“I don’t know how to explain it, but I’ve never had a real life, I’ve never had, like, real relationships, real quality time with my friends and stuff like that,” Doublelift said in TSM's video. “Like, I’ve hardly been able to take a break, y’know? We average like one day off a month. So, my perspective has been really unclear all this time. What is it like to have a real life? What is it like to be a streamer over a pro player? Like, is this really what I want to do?”

Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.

Doublelift joins Team Liquid for remainder of spring split

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Games/lolesports / NA LCS Summer 2016 / Riot Games

Veteran AD carry Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng has joined a lagging Team Liquid in a huge mid-season roster move.

The change comes at a tumultuous time for the LCS team, which last week announced it would move longtime ADC Chae "Piglet" Gwang-jin to the mid lane and bring in Jung "Youngbin" Young-bin to the AD carry position. Youngbin was previously the mid laner for Team Liquid Academy in 2015.

Team Liquid's owner Steve "Liquid112" Arhancet announced the news on Facebook Tuesday night.

"In the last week of LCS we saw that Youngbin is not yet ready to deliver the results that were needed in order for us to perform well this split and so we will be making an additional change," he said in the video.

For his part, Doublelift left the Team SoloMid starting roster in November after the 2016 World Championship to focus on streaming.

Team SoloMid said in a statement Tuesday evening that though Doublelift will play with Team Liquid for the remainder of the split, this does not change his intention to come back and try out for an AD carry position with TSM in the summer split.

"The situation will not impact Jason ‘WildTurtle’ Tran’s position on the team at all," TSM wrote in their statement. "If all goes well and Doublelift passes our tryout for the summer split, our plan is to field a six-man roster for the summer split and Worlds."

Doublelift previously cited burnout and a desire to focus on life outside of professional gaming when he stepped back from the roster, but said in his statement from TSM that he "realized that playing competitively is my calling."

"Although I didn't intend to come back before Summer Split, an opportunity came up for me to return ... to pro play earlier," Doublelift wrote in his statement.

"My time on TL will help me ease back into the competitive environment and prepare me for my tryout with TSM in the summer."

Team Liquid will face an uphill battle in the latter weeks of the season, as they currently sit at the bottom of the standings alongside Team EnVyUs with a 3-9 match record. Their next match will be against Cloud9 on Friday.

Sean Wetselaar is a supervising editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Match highlights: Team SoloMid vs. Counter Logic Gaming

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The Story of Doublelift

theScore esports Staff

The road to Worlds is paved with hard-learned lessons. For Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, that road would begin with being disowned by his parents at age 18 following his return from the Season 1 World Championship.

Competing on five different teams throughout his career, Doublelift rose from the ashes of Season 1 to become one of the most successful and well-known AD carry players in the world. Over 21 Champions and 372 games, Doublelift earned his 1,000th career season kill with Team SoloMid.

Now, he has returned to the competitive scene after a year-long hiatus to play for Team Liquid. Learn more about the incredible career of Doublelift and discover the AD carry legend's path less traveled.

For more video interviews and highlights, be sure to subscribe to theScore esports on YouTube.

Infographic: What if NA LCS and EU LCS were still best-of-one?

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Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports

While Riot Games abandoned the best-of-one format for the NA LCS and EU LCS back in 2015, theScore esports wanted to see how the current standings would stack up if the leagues still used the format.

Though Team SoloMid are currently leading the NA LCS with a 12-2 match record, counting only the first game of each match, TSM would actually be tied for third place with Echo Fox, Counter Logic Gaming and Immortals, each with 7-7 records. Interestingly, even with best-of-one, Cloud9 would have the same 11-3 record.

In Europe, across both Group A and Group B, league standings would actually remain largely the same counting either first game record or match record. The primary difference would be G2 and Misfits being tied for first in Group A with 7-2 records. G2 are undefeated in the official standings with a 9-0 match record.

Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.

Balls on FlyQuest: 'I think we were trying out too many champions at once'

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Riot Flickr

Since soaring high at the beginning of the NA LCS split, FlyQuest has now dipped down beneath the clouds. Though relegation is not on the horizon for the team this split ― and a playoff berth still could be ― their 6-1 start has been clipped to an overall record of 8-9.

theScore esports asked FlyQuest's top laner An "BalIs" Van Le about where FlyQuest's issues have come from, what they're doing to change those, and for his response to a recent comment from Immortals jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett that FLY "don't take things seriously."

What has been the single biggest challenge for FlyQuest these past few weeks?

I think the biggest challenge for us is finding out what champs are good for us in the meta and being able to play them well on stage.

What is the key to fixing that problem?

Playing the champs well in scrims and being able to transfer it in to LCS.

Was there a specific moment when the team realized that something had to change?

Well starting off 6-1 and then being 1-8 our last 9 games will probably do that for us.

Dardoch recently said in an interview that FlyQuest “seems like they don’t take things seriously ... they’re not here to be the best.” What is your response to that?

I think we were trying out too many champions at once and we usually have a bad track record in scrims, but we still took scrims seriously.

Who do you consider your favorite player opponent in the top lane, and why?

[Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho] is my favorite opponent to play against because I watched his stream a lot before and he's a good laner.

What has been the best part of this split so far for you?

I think our first week in LCS when we went 2-0 was a very good feeling.

What sorts of support have you received from the FlyQuest organization?

They help us with any problems we have.

Will we ever see another Darius Pentakill from you?

Maybe if Darius becomes meta again and I get to worlds.

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

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