How to fix grapples in SMNC

Not trying to spam but here’s the forum for Super Monday Night Combat:

What SMNC is in short is Team Fortress 2 meets DOTA or LOL. It’s in open beta right now and the game is going to be free to play. There is a Grappling mechanic in the game where basically you run up to someone and hit Mouse 2 or another key for a Character-Specific grapple and you go into animation where you damage the opponent. Grapples have been nerfed compared to Monday Night Combat, where they were basically instant kills either through damage or throwing you out of the ring. Now some grapples don’t throw you very far, and unless you’re fully leveled up you don’t do a lot of damage. If you’re fully leveled up the most damage you can do off one grapple is about 50% depending on armor.

Now the problem with grapples is thus:

It is completely random whether or not you can grapple someone or they grapple you.

You can mash jump in order to escape being grappled.

Lag becomes a factor and leads to exploits where someone can grapple you and then runaway or mash space. Sometimes you can grapple them, and sometimes you can’t. Lag makes grappling even more random.

Some characters have two kinds of grapple attacks and that plus the randomness of grappling and lag makes it even more difficult and leads to being double grappled.

So my question to the fighting game community is this: How would you fix this problem?

It’s a lot like Tech-Throwing but the problem is that grappling is done with either Mouse 2 or a Q or E, so if someone wants to get out they have to mash those buttons.

And lag is always going to be there, especially since the Dev’s are using an older Unreal Engine.

My idea is to implement a quick time system for grappling, which would make it truly 50/50 and also increase damage for grappling to make it worthwhile. In addition, some character specific grapples do not enter this QTE but do far less damage, let’s say they top off at a maximum of 20%.

What do you guys think?