This is a breaking news story.
Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng has announced his retirement from professional League of Legends effective immediately. In a statement posted on his Twitter account on 25th November, the North American star outlined reasons for his shock retirement.
Reflections— Yiliang Peng (@TSMDoublelift) November 25, 2020
In the statement, Doublelift reflects on his nearly 10-year career in League of Legends. He looks back on his initial forays into the game during season 1, and the way the game moulded him into the confident and sometimes outspoken individual he is today.
He closes his message with a message to fans: “Thank you for watching me grow from a hopeless kid into a successful adult. I’ll be starting a new chapter of life now, and I’d like your support in that too.”
(Picture: Riot Games)
His retirement comes after a tumultuous off-season for Team SoloMid. After the surprising retirement of mid player Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg, Doublelift reportedly endorsed attempts to sign an import support as his duo partner.
Hu "SwordArt" Shuo-Chieh, the support for Worlds 2020 semi-finalists Suning Gaming was initially linked with the team, but visa issues seemed to scupper the move. Now, rather than wait for another option, Doublelift seems to have decided to retire.
The 27-year-old is among the game’s biggest stars with a storied career with memorable stints at Counter Logic Gaming, Team Liquid, and Team SoloMid. Always at the forefront of North America’s LCS, for almost a decade Doublelift was looked up to by a generation of League of Legends fans.
(Picture: Riot Games)
Domestic success was almost assured for Doublelift each season. Primarily an AD Carry, although playing support briefly in his early years, Doublelift was included in the All-Star LCS team six times, winning LCS titles with three different teams the most recent being with TSM in September.
As he points out in his statement, the ADC won eight out of the past 11 LCS splits, making him one of the most successful players in League history. An eight-time LCS champion, League MVP in Summer 2018, and Finals MVP in Spring 2019, his domestic success is unrivalled.
However, international success would elude the star. In his Worlds appearances, he earned the reputation as someone who doesn't live up this reputation. Even domestically, the star slowly grew a reputation for shock departures. For old-school fans, Doublelift was CLG for life - until a move to TSM shattered that dream. A later move to Team Liquid cemented him in some people’s minds as a glory hunter, but others would paint this as being willing to do anything to win.
Finally, Doublelift would court controversy with his return to TSM in 2020. The organisation faced allegations of foul play and conflicts of interest as TSM President Aileena Xu, Doublelift's girlfriend, seemingly helped facilitate the move from Team Liquid.
Despite his denial of wrong-doing, the later chapters of his career would be tinged with these allegations.
- Read more: The Doublelift Trade: what's the big deal? Explanation of League's most controversial transfer
Ultimately, despite missing out on a Worlds trophy that he chased for much of his career, Doublelift has achieved legendary status among the community. Famous for his early career champion picks such as Vayne and Graves, he wowed more recently on Caitlyn and Ezreal. What’s more, he was always able to break out these older champs at the drop of a hat.
His retirement adds yet a sombre note to 2020 which has been rough for League of Legends fans in general, and TSM supporters especially.