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Doublelift retires from pro play

One of the best talents to come out of North America has hung up his keyboard and mouse.

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North American superstar and League of Legends veteran Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng has announced that he will be retiring from professional play, following Team SoloMid’s fifth failed attempt at making it out of group stages at the LoL World Championship.

The 27-year-old ADC posted on social media yesterday and released a statement which announced his retirement and also reflected on his career, starting out in the esports industry as a ‘hopeless kid’ and ending as the successful adult he is today.

The news also follows approximately a month after TSM teammate and fellow LCS veteran Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg announced he would be stepping down from pro play, but would not be leaving the organization and would instead be taking up a coaching role for the team.

Doublelift is truly a legend of the game and has been there from the very beginning as one of League’s first stars. He began his career at the age of 17 and even qualified for the very first League of Legends World Championship tournament in Season 1. “When I sat down to play my first match, I felt a fire in my heart that drove me to chase the dream of becoming a pro player and being the best,” he said.

He initially caught the attention of Counter Logic Gaming owner George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis in early 2011, and was invited to join the team as a substitute, but eventually went on to play for Epik Gamer as their starting support, as he was renowned for his Blitzcrank in NA solo queue.

Doubelift at CLG. (Image Credit: CLG)

It wouldn’t be until Peng would move onto compete on the roster of unRestricted (now Curse Gaming) when support Doublelift would swap over roles in the bot lane and begin playing as an ADC. It was here with unRestricted that Peng officially began his career as an ADC and he even competed in LAN tournaments such as IGN Pro League and IEM New York with the team.

The rest is pretty much history. Doublelift has spent the last decade competing in the LCS and has become globally recognized as an aggressive ADC, one of the best to ever grace the bot lane. He is famous for his inhuman reflexes and ridiculous mechanical skill, traits that have aided him in accumulating an astonishing LCS record.

He has achieved 2,098 kills across 486 LCS games and is tied for the record of most LCS Pentakills at four. After taking a small break in his career during 2016, Doublelift moved to Team Liquid and spent the rest of his career dominating the NA scene.

He has won 8 of the last 11 splits that he has competed in, advanced to the MSI Finals in 2019, and attended every Worlds tournament since 2015. He has also had the most dominant career in NA by holding the most titles, taking home five straight between 2017 through 2019.

(Image Credit: Riot Games)

“For five years, I practiced 14 hours a day and lost every important match,” he wrote. “Then I finally won my first LCS championship. Today, I’ve won 8 of the last 11 splits. Hard work and determination paid off. I’m fully aware of the irony of saying that in my retirement post.”

Peng also expressed disappointment from his team’s frequent poor displays on the international stage at Worlds, year in and year out. This has become characteristic of NA teams at Worlds over the history and the region has traditionally always underperformed at LoL’s most watched annual event.

“I’d like to have been able to say I won Worlds (or even just made it to quarters), but let’s just have the rookies take up the torch on that one,” he said, looking ahead to the future of the LCS.

Reactions from the LoL community

Similarly to Bjergsen’s announcement, the community were certainly surprised when Doublelift made his announcement, which has left many NA and TSM fans saddened after losing their two best players.

Although the duo have had fantastic careers spanning several triumphant years, as fans, it should be our duty to respect their decisions and bid them a worthy farewell.

“Absolute legend, been a pleasure getting to know you this year. Great player, great person and great legacy. No matter what you end up doing next, I’m sure it will turn into something great as well,” former Team Liquid teammate Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen wrote.

“Best of luck in wherever your journey takes you next, Doublelift. We have no words that could adequately articulate your incredible contributions to our region and league over the years. Thank you for everything,” Riot Games’ LCS Twitter said.

100 Thieves General manager and beloved LoL personality Chris “PapaSmithy” Smith said, “There are precious few League of Legends personalities that promoted the growth of the entire esports industry more than you – To say you step away a legend is an understatement, congratulations on a wonderful career”

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