League of Legends

Doublelift Slams TSM in Flame-filled Stream Rant

Retired attack carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng has ripped into Team SoloMid stating that he “Hates” the team in a long on-stream rant. The former TSM player slammed the organization on November 9th during a stream.

The rant covered numerous bases, including issues with his retirement. The former TSM star suggested he was effectively forced into retirement by the organisation, after TSM stated they couldn’t get Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh to be his Support. SwordArt also departed the organisation this past off-season

SwordArt reportedly had told Doublelift that “If me and Bjergsen were still playing, we’d have 100% won.” He continued to slam TSM, stating “It would be a personal pleasure of mine to see TSM never win anything again.”

But Andy “Reginald” Dinh wasn’t going to take the criticism lying down. He took to Reddit to respond to the allegations and get his side out

Another party stuck in the middle is Aleena “Leena” Xu. The president of TSM, currently in a relationship with Doublelift, and formerly in a relationship with Regi, let her feelings on the situation be known in a response on the TSM Discord.

Ultimately her point is that they’re both wrong and both have big egos. Something that shouldn’t be a surprise for fans of either party.

The drama could even be labelled as nostalgic. It reminds of the long-passed days of TSM Baylife, and YouTube videos showing Regi in shouting matches with Marcus “Dyrus” Hill, and Shan “Chaox” Huang. It’s highschool-level drama at the highest levels of esports. 

Whatever your reaction, the damning claims of Doublelift should echo in the minds of TSM fans for months to come. Especially if the team fails to achieve the high levels of success in League of Legends that are expected of them.

League of Legends

LCS Star Bjergsen Out of Retirement and Returning to Europe? 

Reports have emerged that Team SoloMid star Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg is set to make a return to the competitive scene after just under a year of retirement. The alleged return was revealed by Upcomer’s Tyler “FionnOnFire” Erzberger on Sunday evening (September 12).

In late 2020, Bjergsen announced his retirement from the game and his move into a coaching role for TSM. After competing with TSM since 2013, the star became a part-owner in 2019 and retired a year later. 

Winning six LCS titles in his seven years with TSM, World’s success always eluded Bjergsen, who may be returning to play to chase international success. Instead, as a coach this year, Bjergsen guided the TSM roster to 4th place, just out of a Worlds spot.

According to the report, a return to TSM might not be Bjergsen’s first option. Instead, it hinted that the midlaner was looking for opportunities across North America and Europe. In Europe, Bjergsen briefly played for Copenhagen Wolves and Ninjas in Pyjamas between 2012 and 2013. However, his greatest success came after his acquisition by TSM in 2013.

Many would see a return to his native Europe as a return of a prodigal son. The LEC and its predecessor, the EU LCS, never got the chance to see Bjergsen compete in his prime. European fans, regardless of team affiliation, must be excited by the prospect of a return. 

The only issue that now stands in the way of such a move is the part-ownership mentioned above. A player could feasibly play for the team he was a part-owner of but competing against that team would represent a conflict of interest. Not that TSM has shied away from those in the past…

At the time of writing, no official comment had been released by Bjergsen or TSM.

League of Legends

A New Champion: 100T Sweep Team Liquid in the LCS Championship

Change is in the air in North American League of Legends, as 100 Thieves defeat Team Liquid to win the LCS Championship. 100T swept opponents Team Liquid in three straight games in the best-of-five series to become champions of the league.

The win makes 100T just the fifth ever team to capture an LCS title. Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming—All storied teams in the league—are the only other organizations to claim an LCS seasonal victory. 

In an empty arena (fans were unable to attend the event in person), the LCS 2021 season wrapped up with a bang. Team Liquid, who had been on an incredible hot streak before tha match, struggled immediately with the pace at with 100T played. Having met previously in the Upper Bracket finals, it seemed logical that TL would again have 100T’s number.

But as the teams met on Sunday, it was almost like a completely different 100T than the one TL faced in round four of the playoffs. Chief among the success was Can “Closer” Çelik. The Turkish Jungle dominated his opponent, showing the raw power of picks like Viego jungle. 

Ian Victor “FBI” Huang, import Australian ADC was also a standout for the team. Already the best in one region, Oceania, FBI was on the warpath on Sunday. He wanted to prove he was the best in NA as well.  In three games, his scores of 5/1/4, 3/1/9, and 3/0/7 showed just how dominant he is.

Unfortunately, the crowning of a new champ in North America will once again spark a debate about imports. This year NA will only send three native NA talents to Worlds 2021. LCS teams must field a minimum of two NA players on a roster. However, with Oceanic players counting as NA residents, and import players who have become a lawful permanent resident in North America able to count as one of those two, 100T is able to field zero native NA players. 

Despite a victory that is sure to be tinged with controversy, it is a well deserved win for 100T

League of Legends

With Worlds on the Line, Sunday 22nd is Make or Break for 4 LoL Teams

League of Legends Worlds 2021 is set to kick off just a few months from now, but some of the best LoL Teams in the West find themselves on the edge of elimination from the event. Out of Team SoloMid, Cloud9, G2 Esports, and Fnatic, only two of these teams will make it to Worlds 2021.

In a landmark series of games over the weekend (Sunday 22), the very makeup of the LoL competitive scene is being reformed.

We break down these two huge matchups and how their outcomes will affect Worlds 2021.

Fnatic vs. G2 to Become an EU Representative at LoL Worlds 

Fnatic and G2 Esports are the two most decorated LoL teams in Europe. With dozens of championships between them, it would seem trivial that these teams would head to Worlds 2021. But, instead, we find them battling it out to even attend.

Despite their normal top-tier play, Fnatic has struggled in both Spring and Summer splits. Sitting strictly at the middle of the table, the team has barely made it to the playoffs in both seasons. Now they have to win this game to even find their way to Worlds 2021.

G2 Esports, with its new roster including Martin “Rekkles” Larsson (a former Fnatic player), has managed to top the tables but struggled in both post-seasons. After two playoffs, they now find themselves taking on historical rivals Fnatic for an international competition spot.

As the teams clash at 16:00pm BST, in a best-of-five competition, they’ll be battling for more than a semi-final spot. They’ll be fighting for survival and the chance to join the ascendant MAD Lions as Europe’s representative at Worlds 2021.

Cloud9 and TSM to Clash With LoL Worlds Spot on the Line

After an incredibly impressive 3-1 victory over Immortals on Friday, the regular season champs, TSM, now have Worlds squarely in their crosshairs. Their match against Cloud9 on Sunday is their most important all year.

On Thursday, Cloud9 3-0’d Evil Geniuses to secure their spot in this matchup. Having spent much of their summer split trying to replicate the success of Spring, the team now struggles in the post-season. By rights, they’d automatically be headed to Worlds alongside Team Liquid. But, instead, they face LCS rivals TSM for this semi-final spot.

What’s so crazy about this matchup is that it’s only round 3 of the Championship. There’s still a trio of incredible matchups on the way, although few will have as high stakes. In the morning, we saw the LPL and LCK have similarly high-profile matchups, and LoL Worlds 2021 feels closer than ever.


NA Valorant Proves Big Names Don’t Always Win Big

The North America VALORANT scene continues to be chaotic as several big names miss out on the Stage 2 tournament. Team SoloMid, Sentinels, and NRG all failed to qualify for the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021 Main Event.

The result came after brutal competition in the open qualifiers for the NA Valorant Champion’s Tour. What’s more, FaZe Clan, Gen.G Esports, Cloud 9, and 100 Thieves are also hanging by a thread. One lost series will see these teams head home.

With the prestige and brand recognition behind these names, it’s surprising to see so many missing out on major tournaments. Particularly when many have invested so much into the game. Valorant promised to be a hugely popular esport with a dedicated following. However, organisations have struggled to pin down winning rosters.

NA Valorant and Unpredictability

This unpredictability is both a blessing and a curse for the developing scene. While it’s incredibly exciting to seen new names teams reach the upper echelons all the time, it’s a damning indictment on the scouting of top organisations. Sentinels were just weeks ago were crowned North America Stage 1 Masters champions. A team seemingly with an incredible amount of talent. Yet weeks later they drop out of the tour completely. With a relatively new game, it seems teams are struggling to sign effective teams. 

This is exacerbated by the fact players are often jumping to Valorant from other games. While success in CS:GO, Overwatch, and even Fortnite has some effect on Valorant player’s abilities, nothing is set in stone. Big organisations such as TSM, whose rabid fan base and ownership are often motivated by success at the highest levels, will surely not be happy with the team’s lack of success.

Luckily this isn’t just an NA problem. In Europe, Fnatic and Team Liquid similarly missed out on a spot in the Europe Stage 2 Challengers 1 after dropping Open Qualifiers. Whenever your region is, it’s a wide-open field for this VALORANT Champion’s Tour 2021.

Make sure to follow Dartfrog for all the latest NA Valorant esports news on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.


Two Iconic NA Orgs Join Women’s VALORANT in Huge Week

It’s been a bumper week for NA VALORANT as two major organizations announce new women’s rosters. Counter Logic Gaming and Team SoloMid both this week (March 15-21) revealed new lineups.

The first announcement came on March 15, with CLG unveiling their new CLG Red roster. CLG Red has been the organization’s branding for its women’s team for multiple years, competing previously in CS:GO. And the first name in CLG’s new Valorant venture would be a familiar one to that team’s fans. 

The org unveiled Benita “bENITA” Novshadian as their first CLG Red Valorant member. An eight-time world champion and core member of CLG Red CS:GO, bENITA brings a wealth of competitive experience to the team as she transitions into a new game. CLG has already built a strong foundation, and as the rest of the members are revealed, we can expect this lineup to only increase in prestige. 

TSM Chimes In

Not content to allow their regional rivals to take all the glory, Team SoloMid also announced their new roster this week. The news first leaked on Reddit on March 16, with a video posted from a no-deleted account. The notoriously strict Valorant subreddit mods quickly removed the post, despite it breaking no rules.

A day later and the official announcement would be posted on TSM’s Twitter account. The video, identical to the leaked one, revealed the members of the new lineup. Catherine “Cath” Leroux, Katherine “LunarKats” So, Emily “mle” Peters, Zoe “Zoe” Servais, and Mirna “Athxna” Noureldin were all revealed as members of this completed roster. 

TSM also revealed that the roster would be competing at the upcoming VCT Game Changers series. CLG will likely debut their roster at the same event. It’s a fantastic time to be a fan of Women’s Valorant and of the NA scene overall!

Make sure to follow Dartfrog for all the latest Valorant esports news on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.

League of Legends

LCS 2021 format changes: More games, less time off

It may still feel far away in your mind, but 2021 is looming, and with it a fresh year of LCS action. Yesterday, on December 14, the NA’s top League of Legends division gave us an early Christmas present: A new format.  Revealed in detail on Travis Gafford’s YouTube channel, the format debuts a number of changes. These include new names for the playoffs, a shorter Spring Split, and lots more games.

The season will kick off on January 15 with “The LCS Lock In.” This cash and charity tournament will pit the LCS teams against each other for $200,000 in prize money. The teams will be split into a unique set of groups decided by the previous season’s champions. The top four teams from each group advance to a playoff with the winner taking home $150,000 plus $50,000 for a charity of their choice.

Image via Travis Gafford

The Spring Split will run between February 5 and March 14. In a trimmed-down triple round-robin best-of-one format, teams will play three games over a weekend. This gives us 15 games a week total. As a result the spring split will only take 6 weeks. Following this, the spring playoffs, now renamed the “Mid Season Showdown” will take place. The top 6 teams clash in a double elimination tournament. The victor will be crowned as spring champion and given a spot at the Mid Season Invitational.

Summer will follow a similar format, with another round-robin season. This time it’s a full 9 weeks, running from June 4 to August 11. After this, the summer playoffs, now name the LCS Championship, will pit the 8 top teams against each other. The top three teams will then head to Worlds 2021, representing NA on the grandest stage.

Image via Travis Gafford

But questions have to be asked whether this is the right move for the LCS. While some reactions to changes have been universally positive, others have seen flaws in the new format. Carrying over results between splits will make each game more important to the league. However, questions remain over how the LCS will handle the new schedule.

Last year the LCS had subpar production values. On top of this, the new schedule, at least in spring, will make it incredibly difficult for players to have any down time. The schedule seems more akin to the manic mass games of Season Three, rather than the sleek modern production we’ve seen from the LEC in these past years. As a result, it remains to be seen whether the LCS in 2021 can deliver a top quality product and production while dealing with these new format changes. 

Follow DartFrog on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch for the latest League of Legends and LCSnews.

League of Legends

TSM upheaval as SwordArt signed, Doublelift retires

Big moves are shaking the foundations of Team SoloMid, as the NA team signs Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh, just as bot laner Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng retires. The two-year, six million dollar deal was revealed on Thursday, November 26, giving TSM fans something a little extra to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.

SwordArt is one of the most renowned LoL players ever to emerge from the LMS and PCS regions. The Taiwanese player began playing in 2012, with stints on the Gamania Bears and ahq, before joining his most famous roster Flash Wolves.

A multiple-time Worlds participant, the support player is widely regarded as one of the best in the world at his position. Most recently, he was part of the Suning team which went to the Grand Finals of Worlds 2020. The team narrowly missed out on victory, only losing to eventual champs DAMWON Gaming.

The record $6 million deal rockets SwordArt to the top of the list of best-paid players in North America. TSM is one of just a few organisations in the world that could pay such a prize tag for an import talent.

But the signing of a world-class support may not be enough to console TSM fans. On Wednesday, November 25th  Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng  announced his retirement from pro play. The bot laner for TSM revealed his plans in a Twitlonger posted on his official Twitter.

In the post, Doublelift reflected on his decade within the game, and the achievements and accolades he’d amassed. Over the course of just under 10 years in the game, the legendary bot laner was part of Counter Logic Gaming, Curse Gaming, Team SoloMid, and Team Liquid. Always one of the premier players of the North American server, Doublelift is perhaps the most successful domestic NA talent of all time. 

However, his international achievements have been limited. What’s more, the latter part of his career has been tarnished somewhat by his links to allegations of serious conflicts of interest within the LCS

Many members of the League community joined in paying homage to the retiring player.

Doublelift retires from the pro-scene having left behind a legacy of incredible play for his region.  Looking for more off-season bombshells? Count on Dart Frog for all the latest League of Legends news! Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

League of Legends

Worlds 2020 Day One: Europe surges while NA looks shaky

The main event of Worlds 2020 has just started, and after day one there’s already some shake ups and upsets. However the biggest upset of all was the seeming one-sidedness of the majority of day one’s games. Apart from the two closing matchups, Worlds 2020 opened up with four decisive stomps, leaving a quartet of teams desperate for international redemption.

Four Stomps to Start Worlds 2020

The start of the stomps saw FlyQuest fall to the LPL’s Topsports. Fly were definitely not the favorite headed into the matchup, but many expected them to at least put on a serviceable performance. Instead, the team were utterly smashed by their Chinese opponents, setting the scene for the rest of the day. 

DRX of the LCK were up next, taking on the upstart Unicorns of Love from CIS. The CIS team had earned a lot of fans after their fantastic play-in performance, but fan-favourite status wasn’t enough to take home a win. They lost out to the Korean top seed in dramatic fashion. 

Europe’s Rogue were next up to the block in what was expected to be a competitive game against PSG Talon. However, a Malphite pick in the top lane for Finn “Finn” Wiestål proved to be too much for Talon. The rock golem smashed their opponent’s to pieces, facilitating numerous team fights, and wrapping up the game.

Damwon Gaming took on JDG in a matchup that pitted the two best teams in their group against each other. Yet despite JGD being able to match DWG with early aggression, the long range poke from the Nidalee jungle

Competitive Finish to Day One

Finally after four stomps in a row, it was time for some competitive action. The contest between between LGD and Gen.G immediately became the best match of the day, with LGD’s Ling “Mark” Xu carrying with his hyper aggressive play-style.

But after two incredibly dragon fights, it was Gen.G who came out on top. The Korean second seed showed how dangerous they were when allowed to rotate the way they want to. Their macro game is some of the best in the tournament.

The late game of Day One pitted the rival western regions of NA and EU against each other as Fnatic and Team SoloMid clashed. With Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek on Evelynn, it was a battle of the comfort picks. After Fnatic grabbed an early lead, TSM’s map plays, led by jungler Mingyi “Spica” Lu kept the NA hopefuls in the game. But a disastrous series of plays by TSM allowed Fnatic to take the lead, and after momentarily promising an upset, the NA squad became the final losing team of the day. 

Worlds 2020 Day One Results:

FlyQuest 0 – 1 Topsports

Unicorns of Love 0 – 1 DRX

Rogue 1 – 0 PSG Talon

Damwon Gaming 1 – 0 JD Gaming

Gen.G 1 – 0 LGD Gaming

TSM 0 – 1 Fnatic

Worlds 2020 continues tomorrow. For all the latest Worlds 2020 news and analysis.check out Dart Frog on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

League of Legends

Worlds 2020 Groups: What are the Groups after the Draw?

Worlds 2020 is just around the corner, and as of September 15 we now know the groups. In a draw broadcast which aired live on Twitch and YouTube, groups were revealed for both the play-in stage and main event.

As a result, we have some hype competitions on the way, in both the play-in stage and main stage. Rivalries between EU and NA are sparking right from the start of the tournament, while the latent LCK/LPL rivalry will be a focus in the main event.

The groups are as follows:

Worlds 2020 Play-In Groups

Group A

  • Team Liquid (NA)
  • MAD Lions (EU)
  • Legacy Esports (OCE)
  • SuperMassive (Turkey)
  • INTZ e-Sports (Brazil)

Group B

  • LGD Gaming (China)
  • PSG Talon (Hong Kong)
  • V3 Esports (Japan)
  • Unicorns of Love (CIS)
  • Rainbow7 (Latin America)

Worlds 2020 Main Event Groups

Group A

  • G2 Esports (EU)
  • Suning Gaming (China)
  • Machi Esports (Hong Kong)
  • Play-In Winner

Group B

  • Damwon Gaming (Korea)
  • JD Gaming (China)
  • Rogue (EU)
  • Play-In Winner

Group C

  • Team SoloMid (NA)
  • Fnatic (Europe)
  • Gen.G (Korea)
  • Play-In Winner

Group D

  • Top Esports (China)
  • DRX (Korea)
  • FlyQuest (NA)
  • Play-In Winner

Initial analysis projects some great games, and some unfortunate starts for many popular teams. The LEC’s Rogue has pulled the group of death in Group B, while G2 seemingly has a free escape from Group A. FlyQuest are in a similar situation in Group D, while TSM will have to battle past Fnatic for a chance.  Overall, there definitely seem to be some big winners and losers before the event has started.

Regardless of the groups though, anything can happen when the matches kick off. And keep your eyes peeled on Dart Frog on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for all the latest League of Legends news and analysis.