CakePHP is much closer to Yii than Laravel. There is too many magical mushrooms in Laravel, in my humble opinion
I started reading the documentation for Laravel. I haven’t written a single line of code using Laravel, however from my journey so far, I understand that it contains several layers of abstraction, thus making it slow when seeing the benchmarks. And Yii2 remains one of the fastest.
However, what worries me is the rate of development. It is slow. Issues keep piling up and there are no resources to go through them, not even fix them. If you look at the milestones set in Github, the milestones are many months behind from their initial release date (eg. 2.0.16). I think a development backed up by a company would benefit Yii for the future. Maybe if someone looked for a company to act as a patron for the development of Yii?