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The Bickle Breakdown: IBS Preseason Overview

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the inaugural Bickle Breakdown, where over this coming IBS split, I’ll be diving into different topics, such as Team Power Rankings, Positional Power Rankings, Game Predictions, Meta Reviews, and Team Interviews. First off, let me introduce myself, as you’ll be hearing quite a bit from me this IBS Split. My name is Bickle, and I’ve been privileged enough to play in the IBS scene over the past year or so, all with the team known as Coachless Tyranny (Formerly TFF Solar Flare), where I played with and against quite a few of you and was fortunate enough to win some titles before ending as the runner-up in the first IBS Worlds.


With the team document just now dropping, I figure what better time to make power rankings and show how little I know about all the teams than right now, before any games are played, so that everyone can flame me when all my rankings fall apart after week 1. What could possibly go wrong? As a note, I know more about some teams than others, so this will be my best guess at the moment, but there will be quite a bit of movement as I get to learn more about each team. To keep it simple, I’ll be ranking teams in their own divisions for now, with a league wide ranking coming later. For anyone living under a rock that hasn’t seen the groups, they are as follows:


 

Now with that out of the way, let’s start things off with the Piltover Division!

Rank 1: Revolution X

Top: Raining Wolves

Jungle: Rocky/Trizzy

Mid: Just Fritz

ADC: Amazing Spice

Support: Reximus


Coming out the gate, Revolution X is my favorite to top Piltover. With veterans to the scene in every position, Rev X should be able to remain calm and collected no matter what is thrown their way, a trait that is invaluable in the IBS scene. This team is headed up by dual solo lane threats, with Raining Wolves and JustFritz being some of the best in their position in the league. Add in a great supportive cast with a jungler who can do it all in Rocky, a support who loves vision more than kills in Reximus, and an ADC that isn’t afraid to share the spotlight, and you have a deadly combination that every team should fear.


Player to Watch: Raining Wolves

Raining Wolves is what we call a veteran of the IBS scene, playing across multiple teams and orgs, bringing success and a stable top side to wherever he goes. If you called him the best top in this league, even if someone disagreed, they could understand where you were coming from. From Tahm Kench duty to his legendary Urgot, Raining Wolves can do it all, so watch out for him in Week One as Rev X takes on SNC Sunset Ravens.


Rank 2: GSG Iota


Top: Terriermon

Jungle: Timik

Mid: OnlyMagicalGirls

ADC: 1Hand

Support: Squad Fam


Right on Rev X’s tail is GSG Iota. This team retains the core of the Iota squad that won the ZGG IBS title last year and also took Top 4 in RA Freshman. While Timik and OMG are back exactly where they were, 1Hand decided to pack up his Bruisers and Tanks top and trade them in for some Range, as he’s now starting at ADC. Joining this core, we first have Terriermon, a jack of all trades who will be setting his roots down in the top lane this split. Along with him, GSG has promoted Squad Fam from the bench to start supporting their newly swapped ADC. This GSG squad has shown how deadly they can be in the past, and are looking to be title contenders again this split.


Player to Watch: Timik

In a world of strong Junglers, Timik tends to get overlooked unfortunately. However, his consistency makes any team he is on more dangerous, and makes sure that anyone overlooking him doesn’t make that mistake a second time. Expect him to be a central point around which GSG thrives as they take on Hyperion Galaxy in Week One.

Rank 3: Revolution Anarchy


Top: Spencmat

Jungle: Witless Heretic

Mid: LeperKoopa

ADC: TitanBrawler

Support: TheYesParade


Coming into the season ranked third, we have the second Rev team on our list, Revolution Anarchy. While so far we’ve talked about strong solo lanes, Anarchy goes for the tried and true method of playing around their star ADC, TitanBrawler, who some may argue is the best ADC in the league. His partner in the bot lane, TheYesParade, is willing to pull out all the stops and play anything, no matter how off-meta, to get his ADC a lead. In mid, we have the one true veteran of IBS, the man, the myth, the Koopa, Leper, who has decided to bring his stable farming top lane to the center of the map. Rounding out the team, we have Spencmat and Heretic who are both more than willing to be the front line to the Titan show, but can pull out their own carries when called on.


Player to Watch: TitanBrawler

TitanBrawler is the main carry of Anarchy, and is one of the biggest threats on ADC in the league. He’s strong on all ADC styles, be they lane dominant Samiras, late game scaling Vaynes, or even the occasional weak side Ezreal when the team decides to play other parts of the map. Though we will need to wait a little to see him in action, as Anarchy are given the Bye Week 1.


Rank 4: Hyperion Galaxy


Top: Baron Zeppeli

Jungle: Khaizuo

Mid: Hortensia

ADC: Whaels

Support: GingerGuardian


As we continue through the middle of the pack, we come upon Hyperion Galaxy, an Org known by many, but one that is running a team with a lot of new faces. The base of the team starts around the pairing of Baron Zeppeli Top and Khaizuo Jungle, brothers who are looking to make a splash this season, and who are willing to pick whatever it takes to get a favorable matchup. Holding down the fort mid is Hortensia, the one returning member of the Hyperion Squad. Round them out bot side is the duo of Whaels, an ADC who’s perfectly fine scaling for late, and Ginger Guardian, a shot-calling support who sees the whole map as his lane, not just bot lane.


Player to Watch: Hortensia

As the veteran presence on the team, expect Hortensia to be the stable rock for this team, focusing mainly on mids that can make a big impact in fights and pump out damage, but is more than willing to take those picks and roam. He’s got a big challenge ahead of him, as he and Hyperion take on OnlyMagicalGirls and GSG Iota Week One.


Rank 5: Wooper Academy


Top: thelaviathan

Jungle: Merkilles

Mid: LostHavok

ADC: AznSoulSlayer

Support: HailieVictoria


Next up, as we enter the teams and players I’m less familiar with, we have Wooper Academy, the team with the best name and logo in IBS according to me. According to coach IshaN, this team was made with the expectation to win, and they’re looking forward to making a Giga-Impact as they make a Splash in the league. ADC AznSoulSlayer and Support HailieVictoria function as the veterans of the team, and when given resources, they can Slam a game, or when left on a weak side to let the likes of LostHavok and thelaviathan show off, they’re able to Endure whatever is thrown their way. Along with Merkilles, who looks to enjoy being a damage threat of their own, Wooper Academy possesses all the keys to be a contender.


Player to Watch: AznSoulSlayer

Likely the primary carry for his team, AznSoulSlayer is yet another in what looks to be a strong set of ADCs in Piltover. Expect them to play for lane as they look to suffocate the other ADC out of the game, as they’re willing to pull strong lane bullies like the Kalista and Samira. However, even on late game carries like Jinx, his lane pressure shouldn’t be overlooked. Look for AznSoulSlayer to be the focus of both teams when Wooper Academy plays Iconic Week 1.


Rank 6: Iconic


Top: AlternativeCrow

Jungle: TheMaritLage

Mid: Minaemi

ADC: Nub The Scrub

Support: Death For KiLL


Next on our list of more unknown teams to me sits Iconic, an org that’s making its first jump into IBS. In this case, the foundation of the team seems to be laid by the Mid/Jungle duo of Minaemi and TheMaritLage, with Minaemi being a solid and stable laner that is free to roam and support TheMaritLage, who looks to have a carry-oriented style with the likes of Kindred and Graves topping his most played. Along with this, ADC Nub The Scrub is more that willing to scale for late and be safe in lane with the likes of Sivir and Jinx, allowing his support Death For KiLL to join up with the duo to make sure the opposing jungler does not have a good time. The final piece of the puzzle is AlternativeCrow, a player who looks to have role-swapped Top from ADC, so teams should look out for some potential ranged tops.


Player to Watch: TheMaritLage

In IBS, a carry jungle player can make games very difficult for their opponents, as objectives and buffs seem to always be controlled. Expect TheMaritLage to be that player for Iconic, as it’s quite possible that his success and the team's success will be tied together. This will be seen in action when Iconic takes on Wooper Academy in Week 1.


Rank 7: SNC Sunset Ravens


Top: itzraider10

Jungle: SNC Big

Mid: SNC Grim

ADC: Xandradraeda

Support: what bot lane


Rounding out our Piltover list are the SNC Sunset Ravens, and to me, they are the team that I know the least about, hence them falling to the bottom of the list. With SNC, I’m expecting a strong bot duo of Xandradraeda and what bot lane to be their focal point, with ADC bullies like Cait and Lucian being near the top of their lane list. Jungler Big looks to be the type that wants to get to 6 ASAP before making an impact, having prio on picks such as Nocturne, Shyvana, and Diana. Look for itzraider to pull out some strong and dangerous side laners like the Illaoi or Aatrox, while Grim can play either side of the AP/AD coin mid, with picks like the Lissandra and Yasuo to open up and enable his jungler Big.


Player To Watch: what bot lane

Everyone always says that bot lane is dictated by the supports, and it seems like what bot lane takes that approach around the whole map, enjoying heavy roaming champs such as Pyke, Rakan, and even Bard, who I hope we get to see pulled out. I’m looking for him to be the enabler for this team, looking to engage, make picks, and get his team rolling. However, he and SNC Sunset Ravens will need to be at the top of their games week one, as they take on Rev X, a match I feel they are greatly set up as the underdogs in.



Week 1 Piltover Game Predictions:

Revolution X vs SNC Sunset Ravens: Revolution X 2-0

Based on my rankings, it’s the best team in the division vs the team at the bottom, so I have to go with Rev X here. I’m hoping SNC can show some skills to surprise me and show they deserve to move up, but Rev X is about as tough a week 1 opponent as you can get.


GSG Iota vs Hyperion Galaxy: GSG Iota 2-1

As we head into the season, one element that is always key, especially at the start of a split, is experience, and GSG Iota have that in spades, having shown success across ZGG and RA this past season. I expect the newcomers of Hyperion to show they’re not to be taken lightly, but when the pressure is on game 3, look for Iota to come out on top.


Wooper Academy vs Iconic: Wooper Academy 2-1

To me, this is the closest series in Piltover for week one, with two new IBS orgs trying to make a name for themselves and show they’re not to be messed with. Both teams have very strong points in the map, but in the end, I look for AznSoulSlayer to help lead his team to a hard fought victory.


 

Now with Piltover finished, let’s head over to the dark side of the Zaun Division!

Rank 1: TD Syndicate


Top: ZaxeGaming

Jungle: SuperSquare04

Mid: Lemon Sap

ADC: Crokpot

Sup: Natosaurus Rex


At the top of Zaun we have TD Syndicate. No matter your opinion of Toxin, you cannot deny this man builds top tier IBS teams, and he’s looking to add another title to his trophy case. The start of the show in this case in Jungler SuperSquare04, a man I am all too familiar playing against. He has the potential to take over a game, especially when enabled by Lemon Sap, his mid laner, with whom he went to the Semis of IBS worlds with. Speaking of IBS Worlds, TD Syndiacte is joined by World Champ Natosaurus Rex at support, this is one dealy core. Paired with newer TD blood in Crokpot and ZaxeGaming, expect TD to continue their habit of being title contenders.


Player to Watch: SuperSquare04

Arguably the best jungler in the league, SuperSquare is the main threat on TD Syndicate. He’s more than capable of gaining leads on his own and transitioning them across the entire map, or just further growing his own lead to be the driving force behind winning the game. With strong junglers such as Olaf and Wukong, along with some pocket picks, shutting him down is the key to succeeding against TD Syndicate. The question is if Feed the Dream can accomplish this when the face off week one.


Rank 2: Feed the Dream


Top: Tamed

Jungle: Chubby Chernobyl

Mid: Puffin

ADC: Ghost Machine

Support: MysticAzzy


Speaking of Feed the Dream, here they fall at Rank 2, and it was a hard choice between them and TD for Rank 1. From top down to support, this team has experience, and a lot of it, with all 5 members being veterans of the scene. Tamed is coming off a split at support, but before that, he was the top lane of the undefeated RA Champs BDE. Chubby Chernobyl may be newer to the jungle role, but he has grown and adapted this past IBS split, and I expect him to continue his growth. Puffin has shown the ability to be a star mid in the league, and rounding out the team with a scary duo of carry threat Ghost Machine paired with an enabling support like MysticAzzy, it’s hard to find a weak point in this team.


Player to Watch: Ghost Machine

A player with success in IBS leagues and Gold leagues, Ghost is the type of ADC not bot lane likes facing, as he will look to punish you no matter the lane he’s playing. His pressure draws people to his lane, and which may allow his other learners to shine. When FTD takes on TD in week one, expect Ghost Machine to try and step up and show why he’s one of the best ADC’s in this league.

Rank 3: GSG Psi


Top: Pizza is Here

Jungle: Squirrels

Mid: Mid Master

ADC: TheScout666

Support: GSG Star


Rounding out what I’d call the Top 3 is GSG Psi. The core of this team has played together in a previous IBS split, and they continued to improve through the whole time. Pizza is Here is the new piece to the puzzle, and appearing to role swap from the team, it’ll be curious to see how he fits with the group, but his champ pool diversity could prove to be a strength of the team. Scout and Star have played together, but with Scout now taking the starting ADC mantle, expect their synergy to only continue to grow. Expect Squirrels to continue a gank heavy style aimed at getting his lanes ahead, especially Mid Master, who has been to star of the Psi show.


Player to Watch: Mid Master

Mid Master is the main focus for GSG. When he succeeds, the team succeeds. When he falls behind, the team struggles. However, putting him behind is a lot easier said than done, as he tends to have a very solid laning phase. Coach Arkz said he expects Mid Master to be one of the best mids in all of BOL this split, and I see where he’s coming from with it. Mid Master can play solidly for lane, or use roamers like Taliyah and Akshan to influence the map. Look for him to be the key part as GSG Psi takes on TE Aeon Week 1.


Rank 4: Eden’s Blazing Stars


Top: EDN Praetor

Jungle: ihatepeople0192

Mid: Rakan STAN

ADC: Hayseed01

Support: I am Small


As we move down the list, we again now reach players and teams I’m less familiar with. While I am Small and EDN Praetor are new to the scene, that doesn’t mean they should be overlooked. Praetor seems to be picking up a decent champ pool, and will always have their Ekko to play, while Small seems to be taking a more enchanter route to buff the team, though some poke could come to play. Meanwhile, ADC Hayseed seems to be someone who enjoys playing to win lane, with picks such as Cait and Trist topping the charts for them. Look for ihatepeople to scale get 6 and make things happen with Nocturne/Dianna, or gank early with Sej/J4. Lastly, Rakan Stan brings the whole team together, though sadly not on Rakan mid, though he has a wide pool with the ability to play for lane or roams, early or late. The team has the foundation, let’s see how the parts work together.


Player to Watch: ihatepeople0192

With the most experience of the whole crew, look for this jungler to potentially step up and take the reins. With the option of high impact junglers, I expect them to set their lanes up for success, and look to get them rolling. TIme will tell how they fare against Glacial Academy Week 1.

Rank 5: Glacial Storm


Top: HumbleDarius

Jungle: 4udiocat

Mid: Ucannotsaypop

ADC: FillTV

Support: JennyPenny1014


“As the storm passes, we will dominate the rift , & even with the chaotic energy of our players that could or may not fit together , victory shall be ours”. Those are the words of Glacial’s Master Soul. Though not all of the players are familiar with the IBS scene, they do have a different background, as both 4udiocart and JennyPenny have experience in lower elo collegiate tournaments, so I expect them to make a nice transition. Meanwhile, HumbleDarius and Ucannotsaypop have an IBS background, so I expect the top/mid to play hard for their lanes, both tending to go for lane dominant picks like the Darius or Yone. Rounding them out is FillTv, someone new to the competitive scene as a whole, but who’s marksman abilities seem ready to show off. Time will tell how this team gels, but expect them to have a high variance in potential.

Player to Watch: FillTv

While being new to comp IBS, Fill seems to have all the foundations to be a great piece to the Glacial puzzle, having a wide variety of safe or carry picks that can play for late or play for lane. Alongside this, some of his best champs seem to be high in the meta right now, so expect him to potentially thrive. Fill will be an important point of focus as Glacial Storm takes on Eden’s Blazing Stars for Week 1.


Rank 6: Knights of Thunder


Top: HexaneC

Jungle: PrinceStyx

Mid: Blop

ADC: QG Qween

Support: SauceyApples


Coached by two IBS vets in Ost and Pandorum, Knights of Thunder is a roster with a lot of questions in my mind. The major vet of the team, PrinceStyx, has been around the scene for quite a while, but this split, he’s heading from the Bot Lane into the Jungle. I expect his experience to help his voice lead the team, but jungling and ADC are two different worlds. In the solo lanes we have HexaneC and Blop, who both seem to be lane focused players, with Hexance having great split-push threat, and blop having solid late game damage. Rounding us out bot side are QG Qween and SquceyApples, with Qween being an ADC I’ve seen before, and Saucey being a name I have not. I expect Qween’s experience to help mesh the bot lane, but time will tell.


Player to Watch: PrinceStyx

PrinceStyx has been around awhile, and is always a strong ADC that improves any squad he’s on. Now that he’s in the jungle, though, it’s a different story, as we’ll need to see how PrinceStyx can adapt to both a new team and a new role. If he can show the same prowess in the jungle that he did at ADC, expect this team to move up big time.

Rank 7: Tenebrous Esports Aeon


Top: TristanaFTW

Jungle: Merric Batson

Mid: Junk Sleep

ADC: ArcanzE

Support: Seaznal


Last but not least,we have Tenebrous Esports Aeon, an org not only new to the IBS scene, but with a team that is new playing together, having started playing together about a month ago. Though the team is new together and most lack comp experience, coach Storm9mm feels that once they get into the groove, that they can contend with the best. With Tristana FTW in the top, the team has an ADC role swapping, which has its pros in a potential to pull out some new picks top, but also the cons of how different top functions as a role. Looking at jungler Merric, I’d expect a gank heavy style with the likes of Voli, Amumu, and J4 topping his most played. Junk Sleep seems to have quite a variety mid, but their specialty seems to be the control mages, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if they pull out some pocket spice. Lastly, the bot duo of ArcanzE and Seaznal may be new together, but with the aggressive pool of Seaznal, and some high damage early game champs for ArcanzE, expect early action bot side.


Player to Watch: Merric Batson

When I’m looking across players and teams that I’m not as familiar with, the player you hope steps up and makes a mark is usually the jungler. In this case, my eyes are on Merric Batson to try and gain control over the map to help their laners garner the leads they’ll need to overcome obstacles in their path. Time will tell how it turns out, as TE Aeon takes on GSG Psi to open their season.


Week 1 Zaun Game Predictions:

Feed the Dream vs TD Syndicate: TD Syndicate 2-1

Here is, in my opinion, the match of the week, as we have two of the juggernauts in the league facing off. While all lanes will be fun to watch, the place I think is most important, and that will lead to TD’s victory is the Jungle, where I think SuperSquare will be the deciding point.


Glacial Storm vs Eden’s Blazing Star: Eden’s Blazing Star 2-1

Here’s a fun one for me to watch, as we have two of the more unknown teams facing off. Honestly, this could go either way, and I expect it to be a close one, but in the end, I think Eden’s takes the series thanks to great jungle mid play of ihatepeople and Rakan Stan.


GSG Psi vs TE Aeon: GSG Psi 2-0

Lastly, we’ve got the match of a team that has experience together against a team that’s more new, and overall, I think experience together is one of the most important factors in the start of a season, so I’d give the series to GSG.


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