Doublelift is reportedly in talks to come out of retirement and play in the LCS again. Read more about his potential return here.
Doublelift Reportedly In Talks With Multiple LCS Teams About Returning To LCS
After announcing his retirement on November 25th, 2021, LCS legend and purported “GOAT” Yiliang Peter “Doublelift” Peng started streaming full time for TSM. While his tenure at TSM lasted only a few months due to issues with management, Peng is still an unaffiliated streamer who creates predominantly League of Legends content. Part of his content is a partnered “co-stream” with the LCS where he is allowed to stream LCS games and commentate over them.
This year, Peng has been very critical of the players, specifically the attack damage carries (ADCs)—his former role—in the scene. While the ADC pool in the LCS is weaker than it has been in the past, his criticisms had attracted so much attention that he was temporarily banned from co-streaming by Riot Games for his comments on the LCS as a whole.
While Peng has always been very transparent about his opinions on the strength of players in his role of choice, the eight-time LCS Champion seems to have had enough of watching from the sidelines.
Return of the King?
While no news has officially been put out by Peng or the LCS, rumors indicate that Peng is in talks with multiple teams about a potential return to professional play. This news comes from renowned League of Legends insider Brieuc “LEC Wooloo” Seeger, who has an excellent historical track record when it comes to leaks and insider information. While he did not include the names of any particular teams, Seeger’s report stated:
- [Sources] Doublelift might make a return to pro play next year. According to sources, the former pro player has been talking with several LCS teams. Nothing has been settled for now.
While his reports are not as credible, a North American insider of a similar name, “LCS Wooloo,” elaborated on Seeger’s comments indicating that Peng had been in talks with three teams in particular. Unsurprisingly, the teams he mentioned are all top LCS teams. “LCS Wooloo” reports that Peng has spoken to Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, and Team Liquid.
Is Doublelift’s Return Realistic?
While Doublelift has famously left and re-entered the LCS multiple times throughout previous Spring Splits, this time is quite different. Previously, Peng’s teams would have his spot open for him when he returned for the Summer Split. This time, however, he does not have a spot to return to and has to compete with other established ADCs if he seeks an LCS spot.
This is made particularly difficult considering the teams he is in talks with. Cloud9 is fresh off of a Summer Split/LCS Championship victory off of the back of their recently-acquired star ADC Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol. Berserker has become a staple for his team, and his exit is unlikely if Cloud9 continues to contract him; he is currently under contract through 2024.
Evil Geniuses, the Spring Split Champions are in a similar position. While their star ADC has been out since the LCS Playoffs for mental health reasons, his replacement they promoted from the academy scene outperformed expectations and made a name for himself in both the LCS Lower Finals and World Championship.
His final reported option, Team Liquid is the most likely of the three teams to contract Peng; however, their CEO has already announced plans to rebuild utilizing the Team Liquid talent pipeline, leaving fans with the impression that Team Liquid will promote their academy ADC Sean “Yeon” Sung to fill their ADC vacancy.
Peng has previously worked with Team Liquid between 2017 and 2020, and found a great deal of success while working with them. The situations surrounding these three teams, however, make a Doublelift return unlikely.