Whenever William “Leffen” Hjelte enters a Major event for Super Smash Bros., he usually chooses between playing either Melee or Ultimate. But at Super Smash Con, he played both during the same weekend for the first time this year.
Typically, playing two games would end with a player doing worse in both because of their split attention, but Leffen shattered those expectations when he finished in 17th for Ultimate and went on to beat Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma to win the Melee tournament today.
His split time between the two Smash titles is what a lot of people attribute his early-season struggles to. He bounced back in recent months with three third-place finishes at Major events like Smash ‘N’ Splash 5 and Smash Summit 8, which helped him secure fourth on the MPGR 2019 Summer rankings.
He entered Smash Con in both of the biggest games and gave Ultimate a great run, defeating several talented players like Enrique “Maister” Hernández and Saleem “Salem” Young—finally providing the community with a matchup to settle Twitter beef from earlier this year. Finishing one win shy of top 16, the Swedish player turned his focus back to Melee.
With his spot in the top eight nearly secured, Leffen went on a tear through the winners side of the bracket. He beat Michael “MikeHaze” Pulido, James “Swedish Delight” Liu, and unranked Melee veteran Arjun “lloD” Malhotra to set up a meeting with Hungrybox in the winners finals.
Commentator Vish Rajkumar summed it up perfectly when he said “this is the biggest Leff I have seen all year.” From the start, it looked like Leffen was moving with a purpose and utterly outplaying the top-ranked player in the world.
It wasn’t exactly a surprise since Leffen is one of the few players who’s able to challenge Hbox consistently at recent events. But no one expected the Swede to get a 3-0 win to knock Hbox into the losers bracket. That win put Leffen one series away from securing his first Major of the 2019 season.
Hbox had to try to shake off this loss quickly when facing Panda Global’s Zain Naghmi if he wanted a shot at redemption against Leffen. They traded games back and forth, but Hbox took down Zain in an intense five-game series. Zain missed a chance at a throw combo that would have won him the match and provided Hbox with the perfect opportunity to seal the win.
In the grand finals, Hbox looked better, but Leffen was still rolling. With a combination of great laser work, mixing up his approach, and rushing down Hbox’s Jigglypuff at the right moments, Leffen took a 2-0 lead, winning both games with two stocks remaining.
With both players on their last stock and Hbox fighting for his tournament life in game three, neither competitor wanted to make the final mistake of the match. That ended up giving Leffen the perfect chance to play below a high-percentage Puff and land a perfect up air to win it all.
This 3-0 victory capped Leffen’s 6-0 record over Hbox at the event and gave him his first Major win of the season, finally breaking his third-place streak.
With this win, Leffen might be more inclined to compete in both Melee and Ultimate at future events, which just gives fans more of Big Leff to watch on the main stage.