Doublelift Retires: A Tale of Glory, Downfall, and Legacy

Doublelift Retires: A Tale of Glory, Downfall, and Legacy
Doublelift Retires: A Tale of Glory, Downfall, and Legacy | Courtesy of Riot Games

The best AD Carry in North America. Trash talker. Family tragedy. Back-to-back champion. Controversy. The man needs no introduction, Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng announced his retirement on Nov. 25 in a long Twitter post reflecting back on his career, journey, history, and personal transformation. After nine eventful years of professional League of Legends career, Doublelift has decided to end his career at Team SoloMid.

Doublelift Retires: A Tale of Glory, Downfall, and Legacy

Starting off his career in 2011, he bounced around teams a couple of times – and even played as a support at one point – before settling with Counter Logic Gaming (CLG). When he got back from DreamHack Summer 2011, Doublelift was kicked out of his house by his parents. After posting on LoL subreddit, eSports pundit Travis Gafford offered him a place to stay until he transitioned to gaming house. In CLG, it was George "HotshotGG" Georgallidis who helped the native Californian be known in the League of Legends professional scene. Despite the rocky journey, Doublelift called CLG home and brought a trophy to the team for NA LCS Summer 2015 until his departure to TSM. It was CLG's first-ever LCS playoff title. It was also in CLG on July 4, 2015, that Doublelift became the first player in NA LCS to reach 500 kills. Doublelift started to be correlated with toxicity. When leaving CLG, midlaner Austin "LiNk" Shin openly talked about his difficulty working with Doublelift due to his toxicity and aggressive criticism towards his teammates. The latter eventually apologized publicly and pointed at the lack of leadership in the team.

Moving to TSM was a big moment for Doublelift. His announcement video in 2015 has been viewed by almost 2.8 million people on YouTube (as a comparison, his second comeback to TSM was only viewed by slightly more than 845,000 viewers and his TL move's video announcement was seen by about 422,000 viewers). During Doublelift's two-year tenure with TSM, he managed to win NA LCS Summer Splits in both 2016 and 2017. However, his international appearances never actually came to fruition, consistently falling at Groups stage. Doublelift was impacted when TSM's management restructured the team in favor of G2 Esports' Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen and Alfonso "Mithy" Aguirre Rodríguez. Team Liquid quickly snagged Doublelift.

It's during his time in Team Liquid that he showed his dominance for two years (LCS all splits in 2018 and 2019) by winning four consecutive titles, or as the community like to say back-to-back-to-back-to-back champion. Prior to his victory at the NA LCS 2018 Spring Split final, Doublelift experienced a family tragedy. It was arguably the most shocking news to the League of Legends community. Doublelift's brother had attacked their parents in a knife assault, resulting in the death of their mother and a non-fatal injuries to his father. When he finally opened up on his possible absence during the finals, he said, "No, I've never considered [not playing] for a moment... And I think as my fans get to know me better, you know, they'll realize that this is my life and without competition and without my fans, I would just be a normal person. And I don't want to be a normal person. So, of course, I'm just gonna – nothing's gonna stop me. Yeah, nothing." With dedication, strength, and courage, he went on to win the title.

In the same year, Team Liquid was qualified for worlds before falling short in the Groups stage. Team Liquid and Doublelift finished second after G2 Esports in Mid-Season Invitational 2019. The trophy is Doublelift's best international award in his career. After having a rough start as a team and motivation issue in Spring Split 2020, Doublelift left TL and returned to TSM to climb back to the top by winning LCS Summer 2020, granting TSM the first seed coming from NA for Worlds Championship. It was rather a disappointing Worlds result with the infamous 0-6 score in the Groups stage. Many people were still discussing SwordArt/Doublelift synergy before the latter announced his retirement.

In his long LCS career, he has eight LCS titles, eight Worlds appearances, two MSI appearances, 486 LCS games, 2,098 LCS kills, and a win-rate of 63.0%. Doublelift has 10 pentakills throughout his career, with four of them in LCS, making him have the most pentakills all-time in the LCS. His 156,102 CS and 431 gold/minute are third all-time records in LCS.

He may be the guy the community loves to hate but Doublelift, whose signature quote is "everyone else is trash," is by far the most decorated player in LCS history.