League of Legends

Doublelift explains why replacing Xmithie on Liquid "could be a mistake"

by Joe O'Brien
Riot Games

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Team Liquid’s star bot-laner Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng revealed that he’s not entirely happy with the removal of Jake ‘Xmithie’ Puchero from the League of Legends team.

Team Liquid announced on November 19 that Xmithie would be departing the team ahead of the 2020 season, later confirming that he will be replaced by former Fnatic jungler Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen.

Xmithie has been a part of Team Liquid since the start of the 2018 season, during which time the organization has dominated the LCS, securing championship wins in Spring and Summer of 2018 and 2019, and becoming the first team in LCS history to claim four consecutive titles.

Despite their domestic success, Team Liquid has been unable to quite compete with the world’s best on the international stage. Though they reached the MSI final in 2019, they have twice failed to escape the group stage at the World Championship.

It seems Xmithie is the casualty of their latest efforts to find a formula that may carry them to Worlds success, news that undoubtedly came as a surprise to many fans – and it seems even Doubelift isn’t entirely convinced by the change.

Team Liquid will not be re-signing Xmithie. Image: Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games.

“Ah, it blows,” Doubelift said while watching Team Liquid’s farewell to Xmithie during a stream, “I definitely wanted to play with him again next year.”

Doublelift even compared the move to the change to TSM after the 2017 season, which saw him removed from the team that had won both 2016 and 2017 Summer titles, and ultimately resulted in the creation of the Team Liquid squad that has dominated since. Meanwhile, Team SoloMid have struggled through their weakest seasons in the aftermath of the change.

“It could be a mistake. That’s what I think. You just don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone.”

The Team Liquid star also recounted some of his memories of playing with Xmithie, including how they came to team up originally on CLG. He also highlighted that their win rate together is incredibly high – of their six LCS splits together, they have won five, only missing the trophy in Spring 2015 on CLG.

“My win rate with this guy is f*cking nuts, we never lose, I swear to god. Me and Jake never f*cking lose.”

Doublelift does state that his time playing with Xmithie wasn’t all sunshine and roses – they did argue often over the game, which Doublelift admits was occasionally due to himself being a “pretty demanding player”. Nevertheless, he does conclude that he will miss playing with Xmithie.

Riot Games
Riot Games

Exactly where Xmithie will end up following his Team Liquid departure remains to be seen, but rumors suggest he could be heading for a return to Immortals, who have re-entered the LCS following their acquisition of OpTic Gaming.

An official date for the return of the LCS for the 2020 Spring split has yet to be announced, but fans can likely expect to see the teams back in action by the end of January.