Recently retired Yiliang ‘Doublelift’ Peng has shed some extra light on why he called time on his League of Legends career and revealed that he almost joined SK Telecom T1’s LoL setup in 2012.
Over the course of the last decade, Doublelift became the face of North American League of Legends after stints on Counter Logic Gaming, Team Liquid, and Team SoloMid. The 27-year-old ended his career with the latter, but has now confirmed earlier suggestions that he stepped down from playing after TSM told him its big money move for support Hu ‘SwordArt’ Shuo-Chieh fell through. This is despite the organisation eventually signing the Worlds finalist to a $6 million deal just days after Doublelift announced his retirement.
During a Twitch stream, Doublelift says he was told the SwordArt deal was confirmed, but was then informed that TSM was struggling to settle negotiations with the Taiwanese support.
According to Doublelift, TSM was exploring a backup plan, which involved signing Vietnamese support Nguyen ‘Palette’ Hai Trung from VCS team Flash Wolves. While the LCS veteran admits he recommended Palette previously, he was also concerned that communication could be an issue, with the Vietnamese player not being an English-speaker.
Doublelift then claims he told TSM he was not onboard with the plan to sign Palette, something that the organisation “did not like one bit.”
As well as offering more insight into his retirement, Doublelift also reveals that he was offered the opportunity to join arguably the most decorated and storied organisations in League of Legends esports: T1.
The AD carry says that Bok ‘Reapered’ Han-gyu reached out to him in Season 2 to see if the then teenager wanted to join T1 – then known as SK Telecom T1 or SKT – along with a “Blitzcrank one-trick” he had scouted from Korean solo queue. This turns out to be two-time Worlds winner Lee ‘Wolf’ Jae-wan.
He does however say that the prospect of not knowing the language and the low salary were deciding factors in him staying in North America.
While international success has evaded Doublelift throughout his career, things could have been very different if he had decided to make the bold move over to Korea with SKT, which is the only team to have won three League of Legends Worlds titles.