League of Legends star Yiliang 'Doublelift' Peng's move from Team Liquid to TSM hasn't been smooth sailing, and the AD Carry claims that the LCS double-elimination playoff format may have saved his career after a disappointing loss to Golden Guardians in Round One.
When you think of North America's LCS, few players spring to mind as quickly as Doublelift, who has been a fixture at the top of the competition since 2015 when he won his first LCS Playoffs with Counter Logic Gaming, before seeing spells of dominance with TSM, and Team Liquid.
For Doublelift though, his time with Liquid came to an end after 2020's Spring Split. With TL finishing in ninth place having won both splits the previous year, he made a controversial move back to Team SoloMid for Summer, with both player and organization facing criticism due to Peng's relationship with TSM's president Leena Xu.
TSM went on to finish in fourth place with a 12-6 record but found themselves gazing up at his former Team Liquid squad who topped the standings at 15-3. Heading into playoffs against Golden Guardians in their first postseason match, few could have predicted the sweep that would follow, with Doublelift openly admitting that the team "played like sh*t" in their loss.
In an interview with Travis Gafford, Doublelift immediately stated that he was "glad there's a loser's bracket," in this year's LCS Playoffs, before adding that it "definitely, potentially, saved my career," as an exit so early in the playoffs would have been a massive disappointment for TSM.
When asked what went wrong by Gafford, the AD Carry said: "Everything went wrong, I played like sh*t. The draft went horribly every game, we got a bit scrambled and messed up from scrims where the meta was completely different. We just played significantly worse on stage, everyone is playing nervous and scared. I had my fair share of misplays and regrets from that series."
He continued: "I didn't tilt, I just played one of the worst series in my life. We're just playing horribly. We need a lot of things to be put in motion before I could say I was confident we were going to win playoffs."
Despite their surprising loss to Golden Guardians, TSM's run in the 2020 LCS Playoffs continues, and their victory over Dignitas means they still have a chance of playing for a spot at Worlds later in the year.
Their next opponent is unknown, but they could end up squaring off against Golden Guardians once again or face Doublelift's old squad in Team Liquid.