A week after learning the tragic news that his brother had been arrested for stabbing their mother to death and seriously wounding their father, esports star Doublelift found comfort in what he does best, helping his team win the North American League Championship Series Spring Split final Sunday in Miami.
Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, the 24-year-old player in the professional league for the popular multiplayer battle arena video game League of Legends, was dominant over the course of the playoffs, entering the final with a 39 kills/deaths/assists ratio over his first two matches. In Miami, he won the matchup over his former support, Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black, the NA LCS regular-season MVP. Peng went on to help Olleh, his new bot-lane partner, win his first major championship.
Emotions were particularly high at the Fillmore because of Peng’s family tragedy.
His 30-year-old brother, Yihong, is being held on $1 million bond in connection with the stabbing death of Wei Ping Shen, 59, and the stabbing of Guojon Peng, who is expected to survive, on April 1, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. An investigation is continuing.
“It’s such a fleeting feeling to win now … I think you get diminishing returns every time you win, but when I win with a new team, the thing that really makes me happy is seeing how happy my teammates are,” Doublelift said (via ESPN). “Right after Game 3, I felt kinda numb that we won — I was really excited that we won — but then I looked over at [Kim] ‘Olleh’ Joo-sung, and he was getting emotional, like he was tearing up a little bit because he was so happy he had won, and I feel like those moments for me are what I’m going to remember.”
Team Liquid swept 100 Thieves, 3-0, in one of the most dominant performances in League of Legends. Afterward, Doublelift cut loose a bit, giving teammate Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong a piggyback ride.
Later, he tweeted it was an “amazing feeling to be a part of all this” and that, in the Mid-Season Invitational next month, he would “try my best to make America proud.”
The images showed what had to be a respite for Doublelift, who had tweeted what he labeled “terrible news” about his parents on April 2.
“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,” he tweeted. “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.”
Rick Fox, owner of the Echo Fox team, reminded Doublelift in Miami that the esports community is his home. “This is his family here. We are happy that he is here,” he said. “We love him for his tough time. The way he played, the ability to block out a tragedy in these moments, and to play at such an epic level, we know he is going to do great.”
And Doublelift came away with great memories.
“I’m not going to remember how much adrenaline I had or how fast my heart was racing,” he told ESPN. “I’m going to remember the feeling of how loud the crowd was and that they were chanting my name and that Olleh was tearing up because he was so happy that he had won. And those things to me, I think I’m going to remember that for the rest of my life.”
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