On Tuesday night, Team Liquid co-CEO Steve Arhancet tweeted that academy ADC Edward “Tactical” Ra would be starting yet another week of LCS. When asked if Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng was still sick or formally benched, Arhancet stated on Twitter that the swap was not due to illness.
Doublelift later confirmed that he lost his motivation to play and had been benched.
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 (@Doublelift1) March 4, 2020
The saga began when Doublelift announced last week on Twitter that he had laryngitis. This news brought Tactical onto the LCS stage for that week’s matches. After Team Liquid’s rocky start to the LCS, fans were unsure how the rookie would perform. With little practice and a stacked roster beside him, Tactical helped Liquid take home two dominant wins. Although their opponents, 100 Thieves and TSM, had looked unstable themselves, the wins were impressive nonetheless.
Team Liquid’s LCS hiccups
The LCS implemented a change to the point system for competitive play earlier this season. This change resulted in the Spring Split having little impact on the overall points needed to go to major tournaments. Overall, most teams were not affected, but it was evident that Team Liquid was.
After winning four straight LCS titles in a row, it seemed as though the team was taking the Spring Split easy. While the team is currently tied for third place with a 6-6 record, the start of the Split saw Liquid lose five of their first eight games. Doublelift got most of the criticism from fans since he had always been one of the most solid players on the team. Some speculated that he had lost motivation to play, but that wasn’t confirmed until later.
Rikara replaces Tactical
In the meantime, Samuel “Rikara” Oh will be starting as ADC instead of Tactical for Team Liquid Academy. According to Arhancet, this will allow Tactical to spend his time practicing with the LCS team instead of Academy. Going forward, the LCS team will evaluate their starting lineup on a week to week basis.
Will Doublelift return to the rift this split? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! To keep up with further League of Legends coverage, make sure to stay tuned to Daily Esports.