Team Liquid are shopping Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng’s contract after a disappointing LCS Spring Split for the team, as first reported by LCS insider Travis Gafford.
TL are working to move Doublelift’s expiring contract before the start of the Summer Split on May 16. There’s been signs of internal struggles between the player and the team throughout the course of the 2020 competitive season.
Instead of hoping for an org to buy out Doublelift’s contract from now to November 17, when he can walk for free, Liquid are going to see if they can find a suitable place for the player while getting the best return for the seven-time LCS Champion.
Based on multiple sources, Team Liquid has placed Doublelift's contract up for trade. @TheeMarkZ and I discuss the teams he could go to and the implicationshttps://t.co/uGiAvEYyAa pic.twitter.com/rYY0dN1zQw
— Travis Gafford (@TravisGafford) April 16, 2020
If the report turns out to be true, it would mark the end of a two-and-a-half year run for both parties, including the time he was a part of Liquid on loan from Team SoloMid in 2017.
Coming into the split, TL were at the top of every LCS power-ranking – and for good reason. They went on a tear through the LCS to lift the end-of-the-split trophy four times in a row and were going to get even stronger, on paper, with the addition of Mads ‘Broxah’ Brock-Pedersen.
Team Liquid were looking like a serious contender to not only dominate the LCS once again but also become one of North America’s best hopes to finally secure a Worlds Championship - but that wasn’t to be.
Visa issues with Broxah stalled the team from ever gelling during the spring.
But even without the star EU jungler, a team composed of two Worlds champions, one of the best mid laners in the league, and Doublelift couldn’t even hold onto a .500 record.
I'm benched because I had no motivation until very recently. Being sick and unable to compete gave me my passion back, but too late. I'm sorry towards every one of my teammates and I'll be working from now on to regain their trust.
— Yiliang Peng (@TSMDoublelift) March 4, 2020
Now, the question remains: Who will be willing to trade for Doublelift for the coming Summer Split?
It’s not likely that Doublelift will request to join a bottom-tier org to be a part of a developing squad. Neither will top teams like Cloud9 look to mess with winning formulas the split before Worlds; especially when their current ADC was among the top three finalists for Spring MVP alongside two other C9 members.
A return to TSM could be in the cards, but it’ll be a difficult decision for management to make. Kasper ‘Kobbe’ Kobberup has been showing signs of brilliance with Vincent ‘Biofrost’ Wang, though it would be hard to argue against reinstating a five-time LCS All-Star who is bound to bounce back from his Spring 2020 form.
Though it’s a longshot, Dignitas, with veteran talent in key roles who are similarly looking to prove they're still elite, would only be bolstered by a lane-dominant ADC like Doublelift. If it’s a question of culture, then funnily enough 100 Thieves (Spring Split's regular season third-place team) could be a surprise fit for the outspoken, trend-setting Bot laner who could be the X-factor they need.
As for the outlier teams, the global health situation could affect the amount of money DL commands by the time his current contract runs up; if that’s the case, anyone with cash during that window will be a contender to sign him, even 10th place CLG.
For the time being, it sounds like Doublelift will be representing another org in the 2020 Summer Split once Team Liquid finds a suitable trade for one of NA’s best talents of all time.