Bombers: MSI Preview

By Bryce "EGym" Paule

For an organisation with a shaky entrance into esports, the revitalization of the 2019 Bombers OPL team has been a rare super-team success story unfolding in real time.  Here’s a quick breakdown of the players, and what we can expect to see heading into MSI Playins 2019.


TOP LANE: MIMIC

Mimic is the current unchallenged, out and out king of oceanic top lane.  Whether you take a statistical approach comparing him to his peers or run the eyeball test over hours of game-tape, Ju Sung emerges as a dominant, versatile and incredibly well rounded foundation for the Bombers to play from.  FBI once admitted in an on camera interview that at times the game plan simply comes down to giving Mimic enough freedom to break open the game through topside - and his performance over the course of this split has completely warranted that level of trust.  His style is much more war of attrition than lane kingdom, which is a trait that will serve him well going into fiercer international competition. Often the lacking areas are less about the individual, and more about their integration with the rest of the team; and given Mimic quite literally level 3 Kennen dove ORDER’s bottom lane in the OPL Grand final, I think he’s well positioned to stand tall this MSI.

 

JUNGLE: BALKHAN

For a player with absolutely no history of competitive League, to not only win Rookie of the Split, but attend a major Riot International competition in your first ever season - Balkahn’s praises can’t be sung enough.  He’s a powerhouse keeping the “carry junger” dream alive, having still not built a cinderhulk in a single professional game; and given the meta, likely to continue that trend. However, Balkhan is relatively untested. Jungle has traditionally been the hardest role to convert domestic dominance into international success, and is a big hill to climb for the rookie on his first berth overseas.  I hope for big things, but am conscious of what may happen when he faces a confident opponent ready to pressure toe-to-toe.

 

MID LANE: RY0MA

After two second place finishes in 2018, Ryoma has been a mid laner on the precipice of seeing international play for a while, and will finally take his shot this coming MSI.  Tommy’s a player known for his individual prowess and laning strength - however, he spent the majority of this split on utility mages like Liss and Ryze. Mid lane has been the most stacked role in OCE for years, and I have no doubts that the domestic practice is enough for him to match up well against the play-in midlaners, but consistency is key.  A player known more for wildcardy outbursts than consistent performance, the Bombers could live or die by the hand of Ryoma in the best of one format.

 

ADC: FBI

FBI is the most exciting player to watch from Bombers heading into the play-ins.  Having been a staple ADC in the OPL for years, the last couple of seasons have been the flourishing of a young mechanically gifted player to what I expect to be a genuine carry threat on the international stage.  Boasting a Rank 3 finish in Korean soloqueue, FBI has a commanding presence on the rift. Having spent the first few weeks of OPL playing Viktor, then transitioning into the standard late game threats towards the end of the season, FBI is well versed, dynamic ADC

 

SUPPORT: ROGUE

Tracking Rogues play this year has been incredibly interesting.  Transitioning from a lane dominant Thresh main and a follower, to a map roaming Tahm Kench and a leader has shown to be tough.  But shouldering these changes, whilst Captaining the newly formed Bombers lineup, Rogue heads into MSI a very different player than his legacy suggests.  Jake’s ingame decisiveness has always been a huge strength, and is certainly a pillar for Bombers to lean on tracking into the tournament.

 

However the cloud looming over FBI and Rogue is not of their own making.  OCE has always had strong ADC’s and strong Supports, but rarely strong bottom lanes by international standards. Domestically, many teams get away with just being good individuals playing together, and when venturing overseas get pulled apart by genuinely strong pairs.  Victor and Jake have the history together, but MSI will be about whether they have the synergy to show for it.

 

Post draw, there absolutely no doubt that Group A is a tough challenge; but no team proved themselves more worthy than the Bombers.  We may not head into the play-in’s as favourites, but the Bombers may genuinely have the perfect mix of experience, young talent and intoxicating OCE confidence to make a splash this MSI.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH: MIMIC & FBI

They have super high high’s, and very little lows.  They’re well rounded, have the X factor, and the confidence to perform above any standards they’ve set domestically.  They may just be the best players in their role to be sent from OCE internationally for years.

 

6 months ago


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