Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng has retired from professional play after nearly a decade, ending one of the most storied careers in North American League of Legends.
The legendary ADC has quit playing the game after TSM failed to make it out of the Worlds Group stage for the fifth time in franchise history. However, as he pointed out in his retirement message, his domestic form was good.
Doublelift was 17 when he qualified for his first tournament – the Season 1 World Championship in Sweden. “When I sat down to play my first match, I felt a fire in my heart that drove me to chase the dream of becoming a pro player and being the best,” he said.
That tournament was played on tiny laptops in front of just 30 people, but he went onto bigger things. DL was one of the last few legacy members of League of Legends esports. He’s played in all 10 premier seasons since the days of Intel Extreme Masters and Major League Gaming before the NA LCS even formed.
Even in the modern era of the LCS, after the highs and lows of his time on Team Liquid and TSM, DL capped off his domestic run with a five-year domination of the league into retirement.
“For five years, I practiced 14 hours a day and lost every important match,” he wrote. “Then I finally won my first LCS championship. Today, I’ve won 8 of the last 11 splits. Hard work and determination paid off. I’m fully aware of the irony of saying that in my retirement post.”
Doublelift expressed regret for his lack of international success at Worlds, which the LCS as a whole has struggled to leave its impression on throughout the years.
“I’d like to have been able to say I won Worlds (or even just made it to quarters), but let’s just have the rookies take up the torch on that one,” he said, looking forward to the future of the LCS.
Famously one of the most aggressive Bot laners in the world, Doublelift carried his career with the same brutish drive that propelled him to 2,098 Kills across 486 LCS games and tied for an LCS most All-Time record of four Pentakills.
Unfortunately, that level of success never transferred to the world stage – reaching the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) once and only making it out of the group stage at Worlds 2011.
Still, some of the most prolific LCS showings on the international stage have come under teams with Doublelift on the roster. Notably in the semifinals of the MSI 2019 and showing off NA pride at multiple Rift Rivals.
LoL Esports celebrates Doublelift’s career
Doublelift’s announcement came as a surprise to many in the esports industry who thought the 27 year old still had a lot to give to the game.
“Absolute legend, been a pleasure getting to know you this year. Great player, great person and great legacy. No matter what you end up doing next, I’m sure it will turn into something great as well,” former Team Liquid teammate Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen wrote.
“Best of luck in wherever your journey takes you next, Doublelift. We have no words that could adequately articulate your incredible contributions to our region and league over the years. Thank you for everything,” Riot Game’s LCS Twitter said.
100 Thieves General manager and beloved LoL personality Chris ‘PapaSmithy’ Smith said, “There are precious few League of Legends personalities that promoted the growth of the entire esports industry more than you – To say you step away a legend is an understatement, congratulations on a wonderful career”
Best of luck in wherever your journey takes you next, Doublelift. We have no words that could adequately articulate your incredible contributions to our region and league over the years. Thank you for everything ❤.
— LCS (@LCSOfficial) November 25, 2020
Greatest North American player of all time without question.
Winning in 8 of 11 splits across 3 teams is something I doubt will ever be matched again & I’ll for sure miss watching you play a lot.
Hope you enjoy the gamer dad retirement home :^)
— Isaac CB (@RiotAzael) November 25, 2020
You’re NA’s true GOAT and I’m excited to see what you do next. Undoubtedly, whatever you choose you’re going to straight to the top.
— Jack Etienne (@JackEtienne) November 25, 2020
Doublelift ended his career as the first member of the LCS’s 1000-Kill Club with eight LCS Championships, an LCS MVP for Summer 2018, the LCS Finals MVP for Spring 2019, and was nominated to the LCS All-Pro 1st Team five times.