The career span of players of esports is considered short. With that being said, showing and staying at a top-level performance for over 5 years is quite a feat.
For most professional players that hit the age of 25, they either retire from the scene to stream full-time or turn to coaching. However, there were a couple of players that defied expectations and continued displaying dominance in their respective regions. One prime example is Samsung Galaxy's Ambition. Having played since the beginning of Korea's League of Legends esports, Ambition, at a considerably high age, went through role-swaps and even marriage before finally lifting the Summoner's Cup.
There is a similar player in NA. Yiliang"Doublelift" Peng has been playing the game since Season 1. Having stayed strong and relevant throughout his entire career, in a sense, Doublelift grew to be one of NA LCS's mascots. For the upcoming season, Doublelift departed from the team he has spent the year with, Team SoloMid, to join hands with TeamLiquid.
While players of similar age worry about their futures ahead, Doublelift became a part of TeamLiquid with hopes shining brighter than ever.
During his boot camp trip to Korea with his new teammates, Inven Global had the opportunity to meet and speak with the player.
Why did you decide to join TeamLiquid?
Initially, I thought it would be fun to play with Xmithie and POB because I used to play with them in CLG. In NA, the whole community was saying that I'll never be able to win anything… so winning while I was in CLG was the highlight of my life. It was amazing. [Before joining TL] I had the choice of joining any team that I had wanted or simply stream to make a lot of money.
It would be really cool to win while on TeamLiquid. They're not expected to win, and strictly speaking, TL used to be a joke. That was the truth. But I want to change that. I want people to support TL. I want this team to be successful so that people will like us.
The team atmosphere of TL must be a lot different to TSM. How are they different? What do you prefer?
On TSM, at first, it was kind of awkward and hard. Our communication was really bad outside of the game. But as we kept playing, we got really good. We were good friends outside of the game and really good teammates within the game. We had good structure.
When you first join a team, everyone does their best because you want to be on your best behavior. We’re all friends right now [on TL], but I want to see what happens when we lose a match. That's a good test to see if a team is good or not.
You have been a part of the scene for a long time. A lot of the players that have joined the scene around the same time as you have either retired or changed their job to full-time streaming. Have you ever felt pressure through thoughts such as "maybe I'm getting too old," or something of that sort?
I definitely thought about a bunch of things. The first thing I thought about was role swapping - I've actually started thinking about this a few years back. There are a lot of good ADCs in the NA scene - and we import a lot - but there are not enough good supports or junglers.
Then, Ambition won Worlds… he is old and even married, but he had won. He used to be a great midlaner, but now, he's a World Champion jungler. I thought that was pretty crazy.
Jungle is a more thoughtful role, unlike mid where it’s more carry-oriented. So I thought about swapping roles, too. But you know, people were saying that I was washed up all the way since season 4. I don't mind too much about what others think, so if there comes a time where I cant play ADC anymore, I’ll just play something else.
NA ADCs have displayed a lot of mistakes during the 2017 World Championship. Many fans are speculating that they are getting too nervous while playing on the Worlds stage. What're your opinions regarding this?
I don't get too nervous on stage, but I get surprised. The two things are very different and hard to see as a spectator, to see if the player is playing below his level, or if the enemy is simply catching him by surprise. This applies to me personally, as I don't know about the other NA ADCs because I don't really talk to them.
International players are just really good because they surprise you. They engage in a way in which NA players never do. We go to Worlds, and everyone else is so much better than us in multiple aspects. Often times, we don't have vision, we're not ahead in lane, and their teamfighting and engage is so much better than us.
There are definitely times where I make mistakes that I don't usually make, and I’m nervous in every game I play whether it be playoffs or Worlds - but I never get too nervous.
Also, I heard that Korean fans call me 'Dub-Goo', and I think that's really funny. Korean memes, they are the best.
You're one of the most loved NA players here in Korea, especially because of your Graves play a long time back. But over in NA, you're one of the most heavily criticised and attacked player in the community. What do you think about this?
I used to really love being a part of the community. I posted on Reddit a lot and I responded to every fans' emails. However, that was when everyone thought I was a god.
In Season 6, I tasted the other side of the community... I died to Crown's Victor and everyone pointed fingers at me for the reason why TSM couldn't make it out of groups - I was actually doing really great that game, as every lane was losing while Biofrost and I were killing Ruler and CoreJJ.
I got attacked a lot on Reddit and Twitter… I don’t really care if somebody says bad things about me, but when some of the comments are actually true, it makes me feel a lot worse… It reminds me of a quote, "you either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain." People just really like to hate me, you know, it's fun. I know it's fun! (Laughs) I shit talk a lot too.
So I’m not affected.
You'll be playing with Olleh in the botlane now. How is practice working out? As an ADC, how do you rate Olleh as a support player?
First off, Practice is going well.
One thing I like about Olleh is that he makes his own decisions, a lot more than Biofrost. Biofrost is a Challenger player that I raised to be my support. So his instincts and his thoughts are exactly the same as mine. Olleh, on the other hand, has his own experiences and strategies.
Olleh is a lot more independent than Biofrost was, but this goes both ways - it could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Sometimes, you want to play botlane with both players having the same thoughts, but at other times, especially during a roaming meta, you want the support player to engage in other places, away from the ADC.
I think we’re just gonna work on it. I want him to have his own identity, but I also want him to be on the same page as me.
I don't know what it’s called in Korea, but in NA, we call dying on purpose "inting." Olleh does that a lot. (Laughs) He likes to 1 vs 5 a lot.
What's your champion of choice for the upcoming season? Is there a certain ADC champion that you consider overpowered?
When I first came to Korea, I asked Impact and Olleh if people play Xayah, and they responded, "no." I was genuinely surprised.
I actually think Xayah is overpowered... but no one plays it, except for me of course.
Christmas is coming up. What are your holiday plans?
I'm probably going to hang out with my girlfriend. Maybe I'll spend a day with my family. I'll also stream and take some time off before the new Season starts.
Related Article : TL Olleh: "I personally think TeamLiquid is an upgrade from Immortals"
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