After weeks of speculation about his future, Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng has outlined his intentions for the 2018 Spring Split, confirming his return to the Team SoloMid roster.
Although there has been no official confirmation from the Team SoloMid organisation, Doublelift’s statement contradicts a number of rumours that were beginning to gain traction during the off-season.
It had previously been speculated that TSM was targetting the G2 esports bot lane duo of Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen and Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez to replace Doublelift andVincent “Biofrost” Wang.
This rumour was reinforced after the European pair were allowed by the G2 organisation to explore options both within Europe and internationally.
Now a free agent. I am still contracted to G2 Esports but I have been allowed to explore options early before my contract expires
— Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen (@LoLZven) October 31, 2017
Now a free agent. I am still contracted to G2 Esports but Ive been allowed to explore options early before my contract expires.
— Alfonso 'mithy' (@mithytsm) November 1, 2017
Considering the Zven and Mithy have established a reputation as a duo, it was expected that the pair would be sold as a package deal – if at all. The pair has been playing together since signing for Origen in 2014, enjoying great success in the EU LCS.
If Doublelift’s assertions are later confirmed by Team SoloMid and the organisation opts to stick with the veteran AD carry, this potentially opens up the opportunity for another top North American team to pursue Zven and Mithy.
It is a bold move for the North American squad, given that a significant proportion of their fanbase was calling for changes to the line-up after the roster crashed out of the World Championship in the group stage for the second consecutive year.
It would not have come as a great surprise to see Doublelift retiring at the end of Season 7, but it looks like the veteran will be sticking around for one more season at least. Season 8 may well provide Doublelift with his last chance to reach his ultimate goal of lifting the summoners cup.
It’s now or never for the veteran AD carry. As ever, Doublelift will come out fighting, but the question remains, is he and his team good enough to achieve the international success he craves.