After a struggle to make a name for themselves following the inception of the team, Bombers have kicked off the 2019 split with a fully refreshed roster, and a first place seed to boot.
It shows the gamble to switch-up their roster, sign a rookie jungler, and mesh the best of other teams has paid off.
Returning to former days are three old team mates, Jake “Rogue” Sharwood in support, Victor “FBI” Huang as his AD Carry, and Tommy “Ry0ma” Le in the mid lane. Joining the three musketeers is Hyun-jin “BalKhan” Choi as a rookie in the Jungle, and finally Ju-seong “Mimic” Min in the top lane.
Bombers are a relatively new team on the block, joining the Oceanic Pro League in the beginning of the 2018 season. Since then the org has sat in the middle of the standings, until this split. After finishing in fifth place in Split 2 2018, they made the call to completely rebuild their roster, forging this new ‘super team’ with every intention of going international.
Tommy “Ry0ma” Le has been in previous grand finals as part of the Chiefs Esports Club, and has said he’s motivated by the previous losses he’s faced.
“Every time I think about my last two finals, I think about wanting to win even more,” he said.
Coming off the back of an impressive 19-2 record in the regular split, it’s no wonder the Bombers are confident in their abilities. Having played a seemingly similar style with small variations in their strategies, they still have some tricks available to pull out if needed.
The goal of the regular season, Bombers coach Scott ‘Westonway’ Farmer revealed, was to “get first seed”, but also to win it all.
After having played out some very exciting games in their regular season, the Bombers can look back and be proud. With some great matches against other top-seeded teams, such as Avant Gaming and the Chiefs, they certainly cemented themselves in the top echelons of 2019 so far.
A favourite matchup of Westonways’ was Avant, with a total of 55 kills to the Bombers over 3 games. It’s easy to see why, with such explosive games and a 3-0 record against them. The Chiefs had a little more luck against the Bombers, with a 2-1 record across the course of the 10 week season. In their wins, the Chiefs had an impressive 42 kill record in only 2 games. Those matches are certainly ones to go back and watch.
This matchup of Order vs Bombers is one that I don’t think anyone would have predicted at the beginning of the gauntlet, but one that is sure to be explosive. Order have dominated their way through three straight best-of-five series, dashing not only Mammoths’ grand final dreams, but also Avants’ and the Chiefs’ hopes.
It’s looking like the dream run for Order, but there’s still the final boss to go – Bombers.
“Now I’m closer than ever, and I won’t lose. We’re all hungry to win, we just want to taste victory.” – Ry0ma
Having been so close to the trophy twice, Ry0ma certainly feels the hunger for that final victory. According to the Bombers mid laner, it “feels like [he’s] always fallen short” in his career.
He’s using this past experience to his benefit, especially working on “patching his weaknesses,” so he can play at the level he wants for the grand finals.
Rogue and FBI were part of the Order roster for the 2018 season. It’s bittersweet for them, coach Westonway said, as they seem “relatively close to their old team mates, and were happy to see them succeed”.
The Bombers may look like a team of veterans, but their jungler, BalKhan is a rookie, playing in his first ever competitive League of Legends split this year. He is certainly impressive, with dominant performances across the board. Ry0ma feels that “despite being a rookie, he is really confident, and we’re all confident in his ability in the finals.”
“As long as he plays his game I don’t think Order will have a good time,” Ry0ma said.
Player to Watch
After a commanding split in the top lane, Mimic is sure to be the key to a Bombers victory.
I think one of the keys to taking down Order is to keep James ‘Tally’ Shute down, after the solo laner popped off in a majority of their gauntlet matches.
Their matchup history has fallen in Mimics’ favour, with their last matchup ending in a 7/3/3 final scoreline on Rumble for Mimic. Mimic has consistently performed well on a variety of champions, and this flexibility will be key to keeping the Order top laner down.
This is why the #1 seed holds so much value. I’m glad we get a week to prep for this monster @ORDER_army team— Nathan M 🇦🇺 (@Euphoraz) March 30, 2019
Taking the grand final victory would be the best ending that the Bombers could hope for. They will be stamping their names into the winner’s book as the first new team since 2015 to take home the trophy.
Not only that, they will also be continuing the trend of first-seeded teams being the only champions since the gauntlet system was introduced in 2017.
Westonway admitted Order have had 10 extra games to prepare for the final, but believes it’s given Bombers a major advantage as well.
“It’s 10 games on the patch that we will get to review and break down.” – Scott ‘Westonway’ Farmer
Order now face the Oceanic super-team Bombers on Saturday afternoon, with the first game of the best of five series slated for a 4pm AEDT start on April 6.
With two Melbourne organisations in the big dance, it will be the first time a southern team lifts the trophy – will it be the unstoppable force of the Bombers closing out their amazing split, or the final step of the miracle path from fifth-to-champions for Order?