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The Art of the Pinch: a Rocket League Guide

JohnAidanUK

JohnAidanUK

Mon 10th Sep 2018 - 7:09pm

The pinch, which has been growing in prominence in the recent meta, seems to rear its ugly head during the most inopportune of times when on the receiving end. Much of what makes up this mechanic seems to be RNG, however what is not blatantly obvious is that the odds involved in the unpredictability of the pinch can be controlled in your favor. The pinch mechanic consists of the ball being squeezed between any two surfaces and being shot out with unprecedented power in a separate direction. While it may seem random at first, players have begun intentionally manipulating the physics of the ball and the field to achieve favorable, calculated pinches. Here are a few methods you can apply to add the pinch to your offensive arsenal!

The Kuxir Pinch

Popularized by Francesco "Kuxir97" Cinquemani, the “kuxir” pinch has begun emerging in the professional scene as a method of catching the opposing team off-guard by pinching the ball from the defensive half straight into the opposing net. You can apply this method by allowing the ball to roll just above the curved edge of the wall and sharply hitting the ball with the corner of your car causing it to pinch in between the two surfaces and shoot out with immense power. It is important to note with this method that many professional players have found they are more successful using the “kuxir” pinch with the Batmobile because of its sharp, long hitbox. However, that being said, it is very much still possible to achieve effective “kuxir” pinches as well as all other pinches with an Octane, Breakout, Dominus, or any other hitbox. Here is the “kuxir’ pinch in action during the Rocket League Championship series.

The Team Pinch

The team pinch, like most all methods of team play, has communication at its core. While sometimes you can accidently pinch the ball with your teammate when you both go for and meet the ball at the same time, the team pinch is most effective when communicated between teammates and directed towards the opposing net either on the defensive or offensive end.

Like most pinches, it catches the opposing team off-guard. However, unlike any other pinch, it can be achieved anywhere on the field. Whether you are in the air, ground, or wall even, the team pinch can be achieved to send a searing shot on net. At least one teammate must face towards the net in order for the ball to be directed there. The other teammate must then collide with the ball from a separate direction at the same time in order to get the ball to pinch between the two surfaces and shoot out. Here is an example of an effective team pinch achieved by the University of Texas at Austin Rocket League team during the AVGL Collegiate Tournament at Dreamhack Austin.

Ground Pinch

The ground pinch is another form of the pinch that is necessary for you to be aware of. The ground pinch is most commonly achieved when your car is coming from the air and falling on top of the ball, pinching between your car and the ground. In the clip below, Mariano “SquishyMuffinz” Arruda displays a successful ground pinch. As you can see, after making contact with the ball with his car, the ball springs powerfully upwards towards the net because of how he positioned his car. Generally, as shown in the clip, you want your car to be pointed towards the net and want contact with the ball to be made with the front end of you car. Doing this gives your shot the most power and accuracy from the ground pinch and in turn, the best chance to score a goal.

What makes the pinch so effective and why many professional players are beginning to advocate for its viability in competitive play is how lethal of a powershot you can gain through such a simple action. When executed correctly whether on the wall, ground, or with your teammates, the pinch shot can come out of seemingly nothing and catch your opponents off-guard with its power and accuracy. Now that you know the theory, take advantage of the pinch shot, and frustrate opponents with the unpredictability of your newfound offensive arsenal!

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