Top League of Legends player Yiliang 'Doublelift' Peng announced a hiatus from League of Legends last year, taking a break for playing for Team SoloMid to focus on other ventures like streaming. Now, he's surprised everyone by announcing his return, except now he's transferred to Team Liquid to play as their AD Carry.
"As the community knows, Steve Arhancet, CEO of TL, has been on the search for an AD and has reached out to us indicating a dire need for talent within the position," TSM's update post reads. "Doublelift has identified this as a good opportunity for him to ease back into the competitive LCS scene and acclimate to the stress, and as such has agreed to play with Team Liquid for the remainder of the split."
TSM made it clear, however, that this position will only last until the end of the split, when he will come and try out for a place at TSM again. The team also said that, if he returns and passes the tryout, Jason 'WildTurtle' Tran will still stay on and they'll "field a six-man roster for the summer split and Worlds."
"He's been a good friend of mine, and we will happily give him a fair try out for the summer split," TSM's Andy 'Reginald' Dinh commented. "The goal is to have the best possible roster at worlds and having Double as a potential 6th man would only help us with our endeavors at Worlds 2017. It is good that he's getting practice now, and hopefully it will not be a large shift for him when he comes back."
Doublelift himself also added: "During my break, I realised that playing competitively is my calling and although I didn't intend to come back before Summer Split, an opportunity came up for me to return the to pro play earlier. 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 also had their own announcement regarding the move</a>: "We are continuing to improve our League of Legends line up for the split and are announcing today that Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng has joined as starting ADC. The split has not gone well; we are disappointed and are continuing to work hard to ensure our team's success. We have tried all options and this is the best temporary solution for Team Liquid to finish the Spring Split. Riot has given TL initial approval for announcement purposes but this is still pending final Riot approval."
"Doublelift has a proven track record in high pressure situations and he will bring a leadership presence to this team. Not only is he extremely mechanically gifted, he brings a veteran shot-calling presence that the team needed. I believe with his skill and work ethic he will have a positive impact on the team that we are searching for. I am very excited to work with him through the rest of the split," said David Lim, Team Liquid's Head Coach.
Team Liquid haven't had the best split by any stretch of the imagination, sitting at the bottom of the NA LCS with three wins and nine losses, so it's certainly a surprise to see Doublelift not only return to play, but also transfer (albeit temporarily) to Team Liquid. Doublelift is known for his quality, but will it be enough to lift Team Liquid to greater things?