TL Doublelift- Esports All-Star
League of Legends is a five versus five multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game that was released by the studio Riot Games in 2009. Over the last ten years, League of Legends has become one of the most popular video games in the world, with over seventy million players worldwide at its peak. Each team of five players selects a character, called a “champion” from a pool of nearly two hundred choices, and fight to destroy the other team’s base. League of Legends is currently in the midst of its ninth competitive season, and in the next few weeks the Mid-Season Invitational tournament will start, with the best teams from each region competing for prizes and for much-sought after spots at the World Championship in October.
In the last nine seasons of competive play, a handful of professional players have become famous in the community. Names such as Insec, Imaqtpie, xPeke, and Alex Ich were famous in the professional circuit in its early years, and current players such as Uzi, Perkz, Bjergsen and the Unkillable Demon King, Faker are renowned as some of the most skilled players in the world. Among these famous players, one of the most popular is the North American player Yiliang “Peter” Peng, or as he is known in-game, Doublelift.
Doublelift is one of the most veteran players in the North American division of the professional League of Legends circuit, the LCS. He has been a prominent presence in the league since 2011, when he signed on with the team Counter Logic Gaming. Compared to most players, Doublelift has enjoyed an incredibly long career. Even among the best of the best, Doublelift has been around for longer than most, and unlike many of the pros from the early days of the league, who have since been eclipsed by younger and more skilled players, Doublelift has remained among the best in his position and has arguably only gotten better.
Each player in League of Legends, like a football player, has a position they play. Doublelift fills the position of AD Carry, which is short for Attack Damage Carry. Doublelift primarily plays characters who deal large amounts of physical damage with ranged attacks, such as Jinx, Lucian, and Vayne. An AD Carry is usually paired with a Support player, whose job is to help out their team and protect the AD Carry while they are growing stronger over the course of the game.
Until 2015, Doublelift’s empty trophy case was a meme among the community, and despite being recognized as a high-caliber player, he was never able to reach the world championship. That changed in the summer of 2015, when Counter Logic Gaming defeated Team Solomid in the summer finals 3-0, and secured passage to the world championships. Although Counter Logic gaming was eliminated in the group stage and missed out on the bracket stage, it was regardless the organization’s first trip to world’s and was a point of pride for the team.
Despite this, Doublelift left Counter Logic Gaming during the off-season. The reasons are still not entirely clear, but it is likely a matter of tension between Doublelift, other players, (primarily his support Aphromoo) and the team’s leadership. Doublelift was quickly signed by Team Solomid, which had just rescrapped most of its roster apart from its star player Bjergsen, and produced a comical video to announce the signing.
Doublelift was lent to the struggling Team Liquid at the tail end of the 2017 season in order to save the team from being relegated from the LCS due to their dismal performance that year. Doublelift singlehandedly saved the team, and prior to the 2018 season, TSM parted ways with Doublelift, who immediately signed with Team Liquid. With a revamped roster, consisting of several of Doublelift’s former teammates from Counter Logic Gaming such as Xmithie and Pobelter, Liquid placed fourth during the regular season and made their way to finals.
A week before the championship, tragic news broke that Doublelift’s older brother, Yihong Peng, had attacked their parents, killing their mother and seriously injuring their father. The fans of the professional scene turned out droves of support for Doublelift, and for several long days, the question that was burning in everyone’s mind was if he would play in the finals. No one would have blamed him for taking the time to mourn, but Doublelift announced that he would be playing in the finals, and Liquid took a dominant 3-0 victory over 100 Thieves.
Doublelift remains one of the most popular players in the League of Legends community. For every year since 2013, except for 2017, Doublelift has been voted by the fans to represent the North American league at the All-Star event. He also is a popular presence on the streaming platform Twitch.tv, although professional players often do not get the time to stream as often as full-time content creators such as imaqtpie or the Fortnite celebrity Ninja. Doublelift has also become one of the most consistently successful players in the league. Doublelift has won the last seven playoffs in the North American LCS on three different teams (each season has a spring and summer playoffs) and while that has not always transitioned to success internationally, Doublelift has been recognized as easily the most talented player in his position in the United States.
Doublelift has been involved in the League of Legends scene for eight years, and he has consistently been employed by some of the best and well-funded teams in the league. Team Liquid has recently added Dinsey to its sponsors, and the team was endowed with a substantial amount of funds for building an all-star roster, which led to the “Paid by Steve” meme circulating in reference to Liquid’s owner, Steve Arhancet. While many talented names have entered and exited the League of Legends arena, Doublelift has been consistently one of the best and most popular players in all of the league and has been able to make a living from prize support from competitions, his contract as a player, and revenue from Twitch streaming.