It’s been two weeks since Team Liquid shocked the League of Legends community by announcing the singing of superstar AD Carry, Yilliang “Doublelift” Peng. Poised to be the saviour of the struggling team’s Spring Split, the former Team SoloMid man was acquired to save TL from relegation, and potentially ‘lift’ them back into contention for playoffs. Doublelift’s powers were evidently overestimated; the best remaining hope for Team Liquid is now to finish the season in an 8th place spot.
Although Doublelift certainly isn’t the failing point of the team, his impact was far from the meteoric level many Team Liquid fans were hoping for. The organisation’s loyal fanbase were initially delirious with pipe-dreams of a late playoffs resurgence, in reality the squad have secured just a single series victory since Doublelift’s arrival (Team EnVy), showing no improvement in results from their period with Young-bin “Youngbin” Chung in the bot lane.
Team Liquid’s current record is 4-12, leaving them teetering perilously above last placed Team EnVy. The best hope for TL is that Echo Fox drop a game and Team Liquid tie scores, moving both rosters into joint 8th place. The fear of relegation has been hanging over the organisation throughout the entirety of the NA LCS Spring Split, with each dramatic roster shuffle and role swap seemingly reassuring the team that at the end of it all, everything was going to be alright.
The signing of ex-Phoenix1 Support Adrian “Adrian” Ma was engineered to provide Doublelift with the best possible platform from which to carry from the bot lane, once again pushing relegation out of the minds of the TL fanbase. Playoffs were seemingly the new aspiration for the lineup.
Yet even with their new Support’s arrival, the line-up continued to struggle, having not won a single series with Adrian on the team. Although frequently used as a scapegoat for the team’s failings, TL have statistically found more success with former Support player Matt “Matt” Elento, making it uncertain as to who will be starting for the team moving forward.
The script couldn’t have been written any better, with potentially Team Liquid’s last hope of salvation arriving in the series against Team SoloMid. Doublelift’s plan remains to try out for TSM after the Spring Split ends:
“My ultimate goal is to win worlds. I think TSM and I have the exact same vision, that’s why they’re my team of absolute preference and choice.”
Yilliang “Doublelift” Peng
Despite the initial hype around the new line-up, it’s quite clear that Doublelift and the new Team Liquid line-up won’t be piecing together a playoffs run anytime soon, but helping the team avoid relegation would certainly look good on an job application back to his former employer. The expectations for Doublelift to single-handedly transform the TL roster into a Worlds contender however, were evidently ill-judged.
A team with talents such as Kim “Reignover” Yeu-Jin, Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin and Yilliang “Doublelift” Peng should certainly expect to avoid relegation, though perhaps the complacency of the roster is what has plagued the entirety of their Spring Split… when Team Liquid are involved, no potential outcome should be written off.