After a disappointing loss at the hands of FlyQuest this past weekend, eliminating the team from the LCS Spring Playoffs at 4th place, TSM is left transitioning into the Summer Split stranded with questions. Luckily, on Thursday, Team Liquid gave them a golden answer.
After spending the last two and a half seasons firmly locked into TL’s botlane position, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng has reportedly been placed on the trading block – as first reported by Travis Gafford. And if there’s any one team in the league that could utilize his talents extensively, it’s TSM.
However, prior to the 2020 season, TSM signed Kasper “Kobbe” Kobberup to a two-year contract that lasts through the 2021 season. In regards to the foreseeable future, Kobbe seems to be the man to fill the AD position. That is of course, unless TSM and TL make a 1-for-1 swap. In theory, a straight up trade – Kobbe for Doublelift – makes sense for both Liquid and TSM, as it allows the squads to upgrade not only their in-game talent as a whole, but possibly their out-of-game chemistry, as well.
As far as TSM goes, the upgrade from Kobbe to Doublelift would be immense. Throughout the course of the regular split, Doublelift ranked higher than Kobbe in many statistical categories among all qualified bottom laners including KPG, CSM, GPM, and CSD@15. Despite a drastically worse win-rate, Doublelift was still able to emerge from the Spring Split as the stronger player in a statistical sense.
When speaking on Team Liquid, as a whole, however, it’s fair to say something must be going on behind the scenes if the organization is looking to unload its best player after a bizarre outlier of a split. Perhaps there’s some sort of turmoil in the ranks of the squad? Perhaps it’s linked to Doublelift’s benching back in the early stages of the 2020 season. We may never know for sure what exactly is happening in the inner workings of Team Liquid, but what we can infer is that there has to be an obvious reason as to why the team would want to move on from Doublelift. Perhaps it’s fair to say that TL would be stronger with another bot laner.
However, if TSM and Liquid decide that a 1-for-1 swap is in the cards, the obvious problem at hand is that Kobbe would put TL over the limit for imported players, considering Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen and Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in already take up two slots and adding a third would be against LCS regulations.
If the two teams aren’t looking to make a straight swap, then there could be room to possibly include an import player in a potential trade. Additionally, an option to include another organization in the deal by way of a three-way trade could make sense in terms of flattening out the import situation. However, in the case of TSM, a veteran player like Doublelift could serve as not only a statistical upgrade, but a known factor in an environment that he’s obviously familiar with. As the team searches for answers after a disappointing playoff run, perhaps the solution they’re looking for can be found in an old friend that’s helped the organization achieve greatness before.
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