Some us just wish we could play one game at a competent level; to play a few rounds, not get whooped in embarrassing fashion and hopefully not get overloaded with salt. And yet, for most of us mere mortals, we will remain scrubs despite the hundreds of hours logged into games.
William “Leffen” Hjelte, however, is a different kind of beast.
Leffen is a longtime fighting game player who specializes in Super Smash Bros. Melee. He rose to the top of the rankings in Europe before solidifying his spot as one of the top six players in the world by defeating a who’s who of Smash Bros. legends. He recently solidified his status as one of the game’s all-time greats by winning EVO 2018 in one of the most dominant bracket runs in recent years.
Sounds impressive in and of itself, right? Most people would be happy to be considered a world champion at any game. But Leffen isn’t satisfied with just being a top Melee player – his ambitions are much higher.
He wants to be the best fighting game player ever. And he’s already on his way.
Leffen has shot up the ranks of the newly released Dragonball FighterZ, showing his worth by having close sets with top players SonicFox and GO1, the two best players in the game. He’s had strong recent placings such as Top 8 at Canada Cup, as well as winning the Dragonball FighterZ event at Dreamhack Winter 2018 – where he also won the Melee event.
That’s been the craziest part of the past year; watching Leffen compete at an incredibly high level in two very different games.
While many fighting game players, such as Justin Wong, ChrisG, and SonicFox have shown their skills in multiple games, they’ve generally stuck in the realm of traditional fighters – scrolling fighters on fixed maps with health bars and input-specific moves and combos. Once these players get a few matches into any fighting game, they can connect their fundamentals and start dominating.
What’s mind-blowing about Leffen’s talent is being able to play Dragonball FighterZ at a top level while also winning Smash tournaments; a game that, while containing fighting game elements, has very different mechanics and approaches to how it’s played. The skills don’t necessarily transfer from one game to the next, so to see someone like Leffen be able to pick up two very different games and soar to the top is mesmerizing.
While Leffen is becoming disenfranchised with Dragonball FighterZ due to patches, a new Super Smash Bros. game is on the horizon; and with SonicFox showing interest, they might be able to have a showdown as two of the best fighting game players on the planet – this time on Leffen’s turf.