A surprising mid-season roster announcement might just turn around the gloomy fate of Team Liquid, and help the League of Legends team avert relegation.
Last night, owner Steve “Liquid112” Arhancet confirmed that veteran Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng has signed up as the new member of Team Liquid and will remain as an integral cog until the end of the Spring Split.
The announcement arrives just a week after Chae “Piglet” Gwang-jin moved from his signature bottom-lane to perform duties in mid-lane. Jung “Youngbin” Young-bin was brought in to fill the role of AD carry. However, the management realized that he was “not yet ready to deliver the results that were needed in order for us to perform well this split”.
Currently, Team Liquid sits in last place in the North American League Championship Series (NA LCS) standings. The series of role-swaps and roster changes is a last resort for the team to escape relegation.
Following a successful year with Team SoloMid, Doublelift took on a break from professional play to cleanse himself of competitive fatigue. Previously, the player expressed the intention of returning and fighting for his spot in the starting lineup of the team. Somehow, Liquid managed to convince him otherwise.
That being said, Doublelift is still interested in joining his former team for the upcoming 2017 League of Legends World Championship. According to a statement from TSM, Doublelift will continue to play with Team Liquid for the remainder of the split but will try out for for TSM in the Summer Split.
“The situation will not impact Jason ‘WildTurtle’ Tran’s position on the team at all,” said TSM. “If all goes well and Doublelift passes our tryout for the summer split, our plan is to field a six-man roster for the summer split and Worlds.”
Doublelift never intended to return to competitive League of Legends until the summers. However, “an opportunity” arrived in the form of Team Liquid which forced him to think otherwise. As such, the player intends to use his time with his new team to “prepare for my tryout with TSM in the summer”.
Even with his inclusion, Liquid will face an uphill battle in the coming weeks to better its standings in the ladder.
Update: Team Liquid has clarified that the transfer of Doublelift was approved by Riot Games before the announcement was made.