Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng has admitted Liquid’s uninspiring LCS Spring campaign may have been doomed from the start, and suggested the defending champions’ star-studded roster was “set up for failure” because of “awful” synergy.
Four-time champions Team Liquid have had their fair share of woes across 2020 Spring so far. Before the split even began, import signing Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen was sidelined with visa issues, and they fell to a 2–4 record.
The former Fnatic star finally made his debut in Week 4, but the problems didn’t let up. First, Doublelift missed a round due to sickness. A week later, the veteran bot laner was formally benched after he admitted he is “fine with losing LCS.”
Liquid now sits in seventh place, with a paltry 7–9 record. For the first time in four splits, TL is set to miss finals entirely. FlyQuest and front-runners Cloud9 currently stand in the way. NA’s defending champs may have to watch as, come season’s end, someone else claims their vacant throne.
According to Doublelift though, their title defense has been doomed from the start. Issues in the star-studded roster, from communication to leadership squabbles, have meant TL’s 2020 lineup was “set up for failure” from day dot.
Just days out from the crunch-time weekend, Doublelift admitted as much during his March 26 broadcast when asked why Liquid didn’t play aggressively. The NA veteran added there were “a lot of reasons” Spring hadn’t gone their way.
“It’s a bit depressing to talk about. The fundamental problem is all of us see every situation differently. Diagnosing a problem isn’t hard. Finding a solution is. A fix is improving comms… but I think we’ve been set up for failure,” he said.
“Our team has just such awful communication that I never understand what the plan is. If you don’t even know what the plan is in-game, you’re never going to make a proactive play when an opportunity comes up, that’s why we play so passively.”
This communication issue, which Doublelift believes is compounded by the team trying to take a “democratic approach” to shotcalling, has led to their struggles. He wants to be the lead voice again, he added, but he “isn’t allowed.”
“I definitely want to be the main shotcaller again, but I’m not allowed… we are moving forward with a different strategy,” he explained.
“I think a democracy usually works when everyone has an aligned way of thinking but… if you don’t know what the plan is, you’re never going to make a proactive play when an opportunity comes up, that’s why we play so passively.
“We’re not often ready to do something when it happens, and then the opportunity is lost. Our team is just not on the same page. The solution usually is better communications, and that is our worst part right now. They’re really, really bad.”
Doublelift isn’t the only Liquid star to speak out on the team’s Spring struggles either. Former world champion and TL top laner Jung ‘Impact’ Eon-yeong admitted their fans are well within their right to be “angry.” He agrees with them.
At the end of the day, missing playoffs may not be the worst thing for Liquid. The team is in need of a reset, and with 2020’s MSI in real danger of being binned, maybe Peng was right: Worlds may just be TL’s only road to redemption this year.