Doublelift on NA ADCs: "I actually think bang got a lot worse since coming here."

Plus more on his other regional rivals, Rift Rivals, and TL's stumble last week.

League of Legends's Icon Steven Paul · 12 Jul 2019


Image via Riot Games

After impressing LCS and LEC fans alike at Rift Rivals, Team Liquid had a shaky return to LCS this past weekend. After giving up a game to Cloud9 and playing a close game against the struggling 100Thieves, Team Liquid looked less than dominant. 

Upcomer had a chance to sit down with TL bot laner Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng to discuss the team, how to beat Sona/Taric, and his thoughts on the current strength of North American ADCs. 

You picked up a win today after a shaky mid game, but it was a 1-1 weekend for Team Liquid after looking so strong at Rift Rivals. How is the team feeling without being able to take a break like the rest of LCS?

Well, after Rift Rivals, we had a two day break, so that felt good. It probably wasn’t as long as some of the other teams got, but we feel fine afterwards. There’s no excuses there. I think we just played too rushed trying to force engages. 

We kept thinking that since we had an ARAM comp with Sona/Taric, if we engage the fight then we’re going to win it. It just didn’t turn out that way in-game, so we had to rethink our strat after we lost a few teamfights. Then after me and Impact got picked mid, they got Baron, which slowed the game down for another five minutes. So the whole game was just off the back of us playing pretty bad and not having the right idea, so winning against 100 Thieves with a Sona/Taric comp doesn’t feel super great if it’s like that. 

It seemed like their strategy to deal with the Sona/Taric was drafting two crit ADCs with an Ornn so they could scale into your comp. Do you think this is a valid strategy against Sona/Taric and that teams are starting to figure out ways to beat it? 

Well on the new patch, Sona got nerfed, and I feel like it’s pretty substantial. A lot of her scaling comes from speeding everyone up late game. That utility is getting nerfed pretty massively. Every team has their own answer to it, but I feel like trying to outscale it is a pretty stupid effort. It just shows that you’re not good enough to snowball. 

My thoughts on it are that every team has a different idea. Some want to outscale, which I don’t think is the right way, and then some teams try to smash it early and have a really strong mid-game comp. I definitely think that’s the right way—trying to end the game before thirty minutes, which is pretty easily doable if you play with very little mistakes. 100Thieves went probably in the wrong direction. 

Back on the topic of Rift Rivals, Team Liquid was the only North American team to perform well at the tournament. You played a lot of Sona/Taric, but still had a chance to beat G2 in a standard game of League of Legends. Why do you think Team Liquid is the only NA team that performed?

Well I think part of it is just luck. I think C9 and TSM had some really, really off games at Rift Rivals. Part of it is that we play with the most clear direction, and we’re able to change our gameplan in the middle of the plan. 

It feels like some teams only know one win condition and just keep going at it over and over again until it works or it doesn’t. For us, we have really good leadership within the team, so our adaptation from game-to-game, and even within game is just really good. I’d say we’re the strongest team, but not by that much. I think C9 and TSM are both really strong and they just had some issues that really showed up at Rift Rivals.

Currently you’re tied for first place with Cloud9, and as we speak CLG and TSM are competing to see who will join you up there. As someone who’s played for both teams, who do you have winning the match?

That’s true! I think CLG has the best shot they’ve ever had in the last three years, but I still say TSM should win—just because I think all their laners are much better than their counterparts. It’s really important from top to bot and jungle. If you have a better player in each position, it makes a big difference. 

Well speaking of better players in their positions, you’ve been playing in NA against a lot of different bot laners throughout the years. What’s your opinion on the current strength of NA bot laners?

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I think the competition has fluctuated a lot, especially recently. For a while it was just Sneaky and sometimes Stixxay that were super challenging to play against. Now I feel like there’s some new players like Cody Sun and Deftly that could be good, and there’s also a lot of imports like Arrow and Zven that weren’t previously here and are very strong laners. 

I like the competition now, but it’s obviously still not even close to what I’ve played against at international events. I have so much international experience getting destroyed by other bot lanes. They’re not really close to that level, but they’re kind of like the training wheels that I need to use to get there. 

It’s like Goku and the Z fighters. 

*Laughs* Yeah exactly.

So who’s Vegeta in this situation? Is it Zven, Bang?

I actually think bang got a lot worse since coming here. At first he was really strong, and I was really impressed with his play, and now I’m not. It’s hard to say who the second best ADC is right now. In my eyes it’s been Zven, and he’s been good for a really long time, but he just gets a lot of negative attention from the community. 

I know historically you’re not someone who likes to celebrate too hard after wins, so I got another scenario for you. Rather than partying, if you could choose to slot yourself into any team in the history of League and play with them all Saturday night what team would you choose?

Any team?

Throughout the history of all of League of Legends esports. Any region, any time. 

Honestly maybe G2. They seem like they have a lot of fun, and if it’s just a chill weekend then I’d love to play with all those memers. 

But what about Perks? Would you want him to be on the team with you?

I want Perks to stand behind me and coach me!

*Laughs* yeah he’ll be back there massaging your shoulders. Now I think I already know one of your answers to this last one, but if you could remove any three champions from the game what would they be?

One hundred percent Sona *Laughs*. Maybe Yuumi as well. Lastly… Hard to say, but probably Akali. New Akali, old Akali, that champion is so AIDS to play against. Just remove her.

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