Doublelift explains why he’s back in the LCS after long break

Doublelift 100T100 Thieves

Veteran AD Carry Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng has shed light on his decision to return to pro play with 100 Thieves — and it has nothing to do with money.

The 29-year-old has been formally announced as 100 Thieves’ starting AD Carry for 2023 as part of an interesting roster that is a blend of experience and youth.

For Doublelift, it marks his return to activity after a two-year break. He last played for TSM at the 2020 World Championship before retiring and becoming a streamer for the organization.

In a live stream following 100 Thieves’ announcement, Doublelift explained the reason for his return after such a long hiatus. According to the eight-time LCS champion, he started feeling the “competitive itch” one year into his retirement.

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“Once you have the itch, you can’t really shake it off,” he said. “I was bouncing between a few teams this off-season. I had a few options from a couple of top teams and a couple of bottom teams.

“With 100 Thieves, I did the opposite of chasing the bag. I just wanted to be on the best possible roster. I think I’ve got a roster that I’m super happy with and in an org that I’m super happy with.”

According to Doublefit, money was not a factor in his return or choice of team. Like many other pro players who have also dabbled into streaming, he said that he was making a lot more money as a streamer than he will as a pro player.

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“Just being completely honest, the money that you make streaming is multiple times more than you make as a pro,” he said.

“In two to three years playing professionally, I’d make as much as in a year streaming, and I’d probably be putting in half as many hours [by streaming].”

Doublelift talks 2020 retirement

Doublelift added that he wanted to continue playing after the “unfortunate ending” at Worlds 2020, where TSM went out in the group stage with a 0-6 record. His wish was to compete alongside Taiwanese support Hu ‘SwordArT’ Shuo-chieh, who would be signed from Suning, but he also decided to explore his options outside of TSM given the lack of certainty about the roster.

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However, as the off-season progressed and most top teams’ rosters were set, Doublelift’s options dwindled. According to Doublelift, TSM owner Andy ‘Reginald’ Dinh was “super pissed off” that he wouldn’t commit to the team and promoted Lawrence ‘Lost’ Hui from the academy squad.

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Doublelift said that his 2020 retirement was not his decision

Unwilling to join a bottom-tier team, Doublelift took a year-long break and turned to streaming — a decision that he extended for another year given the financial incentives.

That TSM team finished third in the Spring Split and fourth in the Summer Split, failing to qualify for Worlds 2021. According to Doublelift, things would have been different if he had been on the roster.

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“If I were playing for TSM that season instead of Lost, that roster would have actually been pretty good,” he said.