Being able to secure the ball at the opening of the round can give your team a huge advantage. After all, the other team can’t score if they don’t have the bomb. However, it will require some team coordination to acquire the ball on a regular basis. This edition of Grifball Made Easy will go over some tips to win the opening rush.
The Numbering System: Most opening strategies revolve around the numbering system to identify which position you spawn in. Here is a diagram showing the positions and corresponding numbers:
When you spawn and you’re facing forward, the far left spawn is 1, and the far right is 4. Middle-left is 2 and middle-right is 3.
You can then use these numbers to assign jobs to people. If you all just run towards the middle, you will inevitably betray each other and lose the ball, if not get planted on. A simple example of a play would be to have 1 and 4 tank the left and right respectively and curl in towards the middle, while 2 grabs the bomb and 3 stays back to guard against the rush plant. The only drawback is sometimes you may have your runner spawn at a tanking position, and your strongest tank at the position to stay back. Of course, all members of a team should be able to tank, but it’s still something to think about.
See the video below for an example of this play in a league game.
Perhaps number 4 (on the far left) could have pushed up a little farther, but everybody did their jobs and it ended well.
A different strategy that avoids the problem of having a runner tanking or a tank playing sword defense is to assign jobs to particular people. Maybe Player A and B go tank, Player C grabs the ball, and Player D stays back, regardless of spawn position. Unfortunately, it becomes difficult when people spawn in positions ill-suited for their job.
More teams use the numbering system. If everybody on your team can swing a hammer, it’s usually more effective. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s best for your team.
You can start practicing the tip-off in matchmaking. Every time you spawn at the start of a round, call out what position you are in until you can instantly recognize where you spawn. Once you get the hang of the numbering system, you can create your own plays that are better suited for your own team. There is no one best way to get the ball every time, just some ways are better than others. The only thing that’s for certain is the entire team is going to have to work together if they want that ball.
That’s all for week 2 of Grifball Made Easy. You can view week 1’s article, Team Movement, here. Feel free to post any opinions, suggestions, and questions in the comments below.
Until next week,