“This weekend I received some terrible news,” Doublelift tweeted Sunday. “My older brother attacked both of my parents with a knife. As a result of this attack, my mom passed away and my dad was seriously hurt and is now recovering in hospital.
“I’m still processing this news and joining up with my dad and little brother to make sure they’re okay and the proper arrangements are being made. I’ll likely be quiet on social media while I work through this. I hope you all understand and support me as you always have in the past.”
Doublelift, 24, is a rising player in the professional league for the popular game League of Legends, a multiplayer battle arena video game. On Saturday, he was named player of the series after Liquid defeated Echo Fox and earned a slot in the league’s final for the first time. Team Liquid is scheduled to appear in the North American League Championship Series Spring Split Final on Sunday in Miami.
Esports enthusiasts and occasional viewers numbered nearly 400 million in 2017, according to market research firm Newzoo, which projects the total audience will be close to 590 million worldwide by 2020. With annual revenue that Newzoo reports is near $1 billion, owners of traditional sports franchises, like the New England Patriots’ Robert Kraft and the New York Mets’ Jeff Wilpon, are buying in. In 2016, Monumental Sports and Entertainment purchased a controlling interest in Team Liquid, which won $11 million at the International Dota 2 championships in Seattle. Ted Leonsis, whose Monumental Sports owns the Washington Wizards and Capitals, has predicted that esports will “dwarf the NFL.”
Within that world, Doublelift is a rising star. According to Leaguepedia, he hails from Mission Viejo, Calif., and, as a kid, often used his brother’s computer to play Diablo 1 and StarCraft. His brother often handed down his old computers to him, according to the site’s biography, and Peng moved on to games like Dota and World of Warcraft before going to League of Legends.
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