Hax$ (pronounced "Hax Money"), informally known as Hax, is a Melee player based in Manhattan. He used to solo main Captain Falcon with the pink costume (commonly known as Captain Fabulous); however, in early 2014, he switched to solo maining Fox, and was widely regarded as the most technical Fox player when he was still active. In April 2016, he went on a indefinite hiatus due to having a calcified FCU tendon, which was left untreated because no surgeon was willing to remove it. During this hiatus, he began working on the B0XX, a controller designed in a similar vein to the Smash Box by Hitbox, after having tested the Smash Box and finding it unsatisfactory. He has also slowly made a return to competitive Melee as of March 2017, having finally been treated for his hand problems. He would attend various Melee events showcasing the potential of the B0XX, and spent a long time balancing it to be as fair to a gamecube controller as possible. By 2019, he was considered to be playing at a level similar to when he played on a GameCube controller.
Origin of the name
Hax used to be into competitive Pokémon. In the context of competitive Pokémon, "hax" is lingo for the uncontrollable RNG involved in battles, such as critical hits, that can sometimes undeservedly turn the tide of a match. The high number of angry players who would call "hax" after severe losses due to this prompted Hax to name himself after this term. When switching to competitive Melee, Hax wanted a fourth character in the space given for tags in-game, and decided to add the dollar sign to it, eventually giving birth to "Hax$" or "Hax Money".
2008-2009: Starting Off
Hax began his Melee career as an up-and-coming Captain Falcon main who quickly rose up the ranks in his region. At his first major tournament, Pound 3, he placed 9th; he lost to Mew2King in the first round of winners' bracket, then ran through losers' bracket and defeated LoZR, Silent Wolf, and Colbol in losers', then was eliminated by Azen. A year later, at Revival of Melee, Hax once again showed fantastic prowess with his Captain Falcon; he lost to Eggm in winners', but went on another mini-run through losers' bracket, taking out thumbswayup, HBK, and RaynEX. He then lost to Jman 0-2, with both games going down to the last stock, finishing at 13th in singles overall.
Hax's next major was Apex 2009, which was also his biggest breakthrough in the Melee scene to that day. At that tournament, he defeated ChuDat in winners' bracket before losing to Jman, but went on another run through losers', this time taking out big names such as Anther, Scar, and Kage before losing to ChuDat in a rematch, placing 4th overall. At GENESIS, he teamed with Hungrybox, where they were defeated by Armada and Aniolas in the winners' bracket. They rose through the losers' bracket, but only reached 13th place. He reached 7th place in Melee singles, besting many of the most talented players from North America and Europe.
Hax then reached 13th place at Pound 4, the second highest placed Captain Falcon at the tournament (behind SilentSpectre, who was considered the strongest Captain Falcon at the time). In doubles, he teamed with Darc and was rather successful, placing 4th. At Apex 2010, Hax once again lost in the first round of winners', this time to I.B from Canada. He then eliminated WarriorKnight, th0rn, Silent Wolf, and finally, ChuDat in a rematch from Apex 2009, before being stopped by Zhu's Falco, placing 9th overall in singles.
After a comparatively low placement of 13th at Revival of Melee 3 and a handful of tournaments where he failed to break the top 8, Hax once again placed within the top 8 at Pound V. There, he continued his trend of losing very early in winners' bracket, this time to Zhu. He then tore through losers' bracket, defeating tect, MacD, Kels, Amsah, and VaNz, before meeting and being defeated by Axe in losers' quarters, finishing 5th overall. He also placed 3rd in teams, teaming with Hungrybox. Hax then placed 9th at GENESIS 2, where he sent HomeMadeWaffles to losers' and eliminated Fuzzyness and Fly Amanita, but was defeated by Taj in winners' and PPMD (then known as Dr. PeePee) in losers'.
2012: Best Falcon in the world
Hax placed in top 8 at Apex 2012. Although he lost to Zhu 1-2 early in winners' bracket, he eliminated SFAT 2-1 and MacD 2-1 in losers' bracket before losing to JAVI 0-2 in losers' top 8. He continued to perform extremely well in tournaments later that year, with a 5th place finish at Zenith 2012 and Revival of Melee 5 and a 6th place finish at MELEE-FC10R Legacy. At the latter tournament, he made it into the final round-robin bracket, where he defeated Kels 3-1 and Darkrain 3-2, with the latter match solidifying his position as the best solo main Captain Falcon in the world. However, he lost to everyone else in the bracket, placing 6th overall.
2013: Turn to the Dark Side (20XX)
Hax placed in top 8 at Apex 2013, defeating JAVI 2-1 in a rematch in winners' bracket, as well as Kage 2-0, before losing to Dr. PeePee 0-2. In losers' bracket, he eliminated Axe 2-0, but then lost to Mango 0-2 for top 8. At EVO 2013, Hax defeated S2J 2-1 in the winners' quarters pool to make it into the semifinals pool. He lost to Dr. PeePee 1-2 in winners' bracket, and then to Ice 0-2 in losers' bracket, placing 9th overall.
At this point in his Melee career, Hax popularized the "20XX" joke, depicting a post-apocalyptic world where everyone played Fox to TAS levels of perfection. He also began claiming that Captain Falcon, as a character, was not strong enough to make him become the top Melee player in the community. Although many doubted that he would switch to Fox at first, Hax dropped Captain Falcon entirely after The Big House 3, much to the disappointment of many Captain Falcon fans. It seemed for a while that Hax would take his Fox to the top level at his next major after winning No Johns Monthly, defeating VaNz and The Moon in a dominating fashion.
2014: Rise of Fox in a summer of Smash
Hax underperformed in Melee singles at Apex 2014, placing 17th. He lost to s0ft in winners' finals of the first round of pools, and made it to losers' quarters in the second round of pools before losing to Ice 1-2. However, he managed to win Melee doubles with Mew2King. They lost to Mango and Lucky 2-3 in winners' semis, but once in losers' bracket, they managed to defeat Shroomed and S2J 2-0, Armada and Ice 3-2, and Hungrybox and Plup 3-1 to make it to grand finals against Mango and Lucky. They won the first and second sets 3-2 and 3-1, respectively.
Hax upset Mango 3-1 in winners' finals at WHOBO MLG, including two Fox ditto victories, but then lost two consecutive 0-3 sets in grand finals to his Falco. At SKTAR 3, Hax defeated players such as ZoSo and Nintendude in winners' bracket before losing to Armada 0-2. In losers' bracket, he eliminated ChuDat 2-0 and Zhu 2-0 before being eliminated by Mew2King 0-2 in losers' quarters, placing 5th overall. Due to Hax's strong placements at WHOBO MLG and SKTAR 3, he qualified for the MLG Anaheim 2014 championship bracket.
In his pool at MLG Anaheim 2014, Hax defeated Leffen 3-2, Colbol 3-1, s0ft 3-0, and Remen 3-0, but lost to PPMD 1-3, Mew2King 1-3, and Axe 1-3. He was seeded in losers' bracket in the championship bracket, where he eliminated S2J 3-2 and PewPewU 3-2 before being eliminated by Leffen 2-3, finishing off at 7th place.
At EVO 2014, the largest Melee tournament at the time, he placed 13th out of a massive number of 970 entrants. In the winners' quarters pool, he unexpectedly lost early to Zanguzen. However, he managed to sweep the losers' quarters pool, eliminating Lovage, Reason, DEHF, Hyprid, and Nintendude, before losing to Plup 0-2 in top 16, ending his run.
At Zenith 2014, Hax placed 2nd in Melee singles, defeating Fly Amanita 2-0 and Wizzrobe 3-1 in winners' bracket, making it to winners' finals against Mew2King. He won the first two games, including a win against Mew2King's Marth on Final Destination, though ended up losing the set 2-3. In losers' finals, he defeated Zhu 3-2. Hax then won the first set of grand finals against Mew2King 3-1, with another win on Final Destination, although he still lost the second set 0-3. Hax also won Melee doubles with Mew2King, defeating Axe and ZeRo in both winners' finals and grand finals.
2014: Post-summer of Smash and hiatus
Hax attended The Big House 4, the 4th largest Melee tournament of all time. In pools, he had a close set with Vro, where Hax won the set 2-1. In top 16, Hax faced off against Mango's Captain Falcon and Marth, losing 1-3, sending him to losers bracket. He then had a close set with Kalamazhu in losers, taking it 3-2 and advancing into top 8. After defeating Kels 3-0, he faced Armada in losers top 8, taking the first game convincingly, but ultimately ended up losing 1-3, placing 5th. In doubles, he teamed with fellow Fox main Leffen. They beat HugS and Lucky 2-0 and DJ Nintendo and The Moon 2-0 as well, before losing to Hungrybox and Plup 2-3. In losers, they defeated SFAT and Axe, and VaNz and MacD, both 3-1. In losers finals, they had a rematch with Hungrybox and Plup, but lost once again, this time 1-3, netting them 3rd.
Hax then attended the New York regional tournament Justice 4. In winners finals, he faced Armada, where he lost 1-3. After beating Zhu 3-0 in losers finals, he faced Armada once again in grand finals, which Armada won 3-2 in a much closer set. He also teamed with Armada in doubles, getting 1st without dropping a set.
On January 1, 2015, Hax announced that he would be taking an indefinite hiatus from Smash as a result of a hand injury and insomnia, forcing him out of Apex 2015.
2015: Return and second hiatus
Hax made his full return to Smash after recovering from his hand surgery at Super Nebulous 3 in late April 2015. He lost to Nintendude in winners semis 2-3, getting sent to losers. After beating Wizzrobe 3-1, he lost to Lucky in losers semis 2-3, placing 4th.
In July 2015, Hax announced another hiatus. In a blog post, he discussed his insomnia, which worsened whenever he was at a tournament. Hax surmised that his insomnia may be linked to his his perfectionist "20XX" mentality. Hax said he would still practice and attend some major tournaments, such as Apex and EVO, but would not attend as many tournaments until his insomnia was under control. Tafokints made a video detailing Hax's condition, saying that he, as of writing, was in a cast for his prior injury, but had been making progress, and would return in the near future.
2016: Second return and third hiatus
Hax has made a return at NYC Nebulous Prime Locals. He has defeated DJ Nintendo at these events, placing first in the ones he has attended. However, he has said in interview that he is not ready to return in full force just yet. His first huge tournament of 2016 was Shots Fired 2, where he placed 3rd, and used the money he got from the tournament to pay for his last surgery. His next big tournament was Pound 2016, where he went on a rampage through pools, making it to Winner's Ro32. There, he defeated smashers such as SFAT 2-1, Nintendude 3-0, and eventually defeated Mango in Winner's semis 3-2, in a nailbiter set where Mango missed a crucial edgeguard, giving Hax his ticket to Winner's finals against Hungrybox, where he was defeated 3-0. Sent to Loser's finals, Hax was pitted in a rematch against Mango, where again, he was defeated 3-0, ending Hax's run at 3rd place.
After initially making himself eligible for being voted to participate in Smash Summit 2, Hax drop out due to another hand injury. Its recurrence prompted another indefinite hiatus from Smash until he could fully recover.
2017-2018: Third return and the B0XX
Hax posted an update video on January 19th, 2017. In the video, he further detailed the complications with his hands and revealed that he had finally met a doctor that would treat most of his hand problems that arose, the incurable thumb joint arthritis that eventually developed on his left hand now prevented him from using a GameCube controller. Hax also discussed his experiences with the Smash Box arcade controller during his hiatus. While Hax had a relatively painless experience using the Smash Box even before the final hand surgery, he proposed several changes, most of which were shot down due to logistical issues with submitting them. Cactuar then approached Hax and told him about two Rutgers University engineering students, Arhum Siddiqi (also known as WatchingTime) and James Taylor, who were working on a Smash Box-based product called the "Icebox" that would work better for Ice Climbers players' desynching techniques. A controller design commissioned and approved by Frycook, Hax decided to contact them and contribute to improving the Icebox for use with Fox, slowly implementing the changes he initially submitted to the Smash Box team, and giving the product a new name: the "B0XX". Hax stated that the B0XX would be customizable, and additionally slated a return to competitive Melee for February 2017, though he would not attend a tournament until a month later at Smash Summit Spring 2017 as a commentator.
After a few months of attending locals on the B0XX, Hax won his first tournament with it, Nebulous Melee 85, in May 2017. Since he began using the B0XX, he has taken sets from ranked players such as Westballz, KJH, Crush, Fiction, Kage, Captain Smuckers, DJ Nintendo, and Qerb. He has also since made update videos defending his thinking on the legality of the B0XX and is still working on getting it legalized in the MIOM recommended tournament ruleset.
2019-2020: Partial resurgence
Hax had a rough start to 2019, placing 17th at GENESIS 6 and only winning some smaller tournaments. The Summer MPGR placed Hax at 25th in the world. Hax's results began to pick up in the summer when he got 9th at Shine 2019, he then went on to place 3rd at Mango's Birthday Bash beating Hungrybox in the process. This led to Hax's being ranked at 19th, 19 places better than in 2018. At the start of 2020, Hax attended GENESIS 7 where he was knocked into losers early by Leffen. He beat SFAT, Westballz, PewPewU and Shroomed for the opportunity to play Leffen again, in which Hax won 3-1. Hax placed 4th at GENESIS 7 after being reverse 3-0'd by Hungrybox. This placement also qualified him for one of the few invite spots to Smash Summit 9, where he placed 7th.
Hax was arguably the strongest Captain Falcon player in the world, utilizing much of the same deadly combos as Falcon mains before him, but with a superior playstyle. Unlike other Captain Falcon players, who relied on what Hax saw as mindless aggression, Hax played very conservatively by utilizing camping and clever baits to get openings. This made him the strongest Captain Falcon against more defensive characters (such as Marth and Sheik), and eventually, in the world. He was also the most technical Captain Falcon player, as he had amazing reactions and spacing, and utilized difficult techniques such as the "Hax-dash", an invincible ledge-invincibility refresh that doubles as a visual mixup. As Fox, Hax continues pursuing a perfectionist mindset with fast reactions and extreme technical skill, but has become a lot swingier, notably using a lot of fadeback neutral airs and jittery close-range movement. Hax is known for going for nearly frame-perfect combos and theoretically unbreakable shine pressure, along with reaction tech-chases and a strong ledge-game, often retreating to the ledge to be able to invincibly ledgedash and regain a strong neutral position.
However, this perfectionism has also led to losses in certain matchups. For example, Hax will rush down and approach even defensive characters such as Jigglypuff and attack with drills and shines (the most "optimal" way to pressure), instead of playing more defensively with Blaster when the situation calls for it. This can lead to him overextending, which leaves him susceptible to Jigglypuff's lethal punishes. Additionally, Hax is susceptible to psychological pressure, as shown when Mango defeated him 3-1 with his secondaries at The Big House 4 using mostly hard reads. In addition, Hax's playstyle often is very strong at short-ranges where his execution is extremely consistant, but he is often hesitant to commit to longer range approaches, leading to difficulties vs some more conservative and campy players; an example of this would be Hax's set vs Mike Haze at Smash Summit 5, where Mike shifted to a more dash-dance campy style and reverse 3-0d Hax.
On June 4th, 2021, Hax posted a YouTube video and accompanying PDF file titled "Evidence.zip 2", claiming in a tweet that it would "decide the fate of the entire Smash community." The video, named as a sequel to the archive file that was used to advocate a ban for Leffen back in 2013, alleges that Leffen has mentally abused several people in his quest to become the best player, having been leery about him ever since his first interactions with him on SmashBoards in 2011. He urged the community to reconsider whom they were following and alleged several claims, or "charges", against Leffen:
The video drew massive derision and backlash from the community, with many in particular condemning Hax's choice to analogize Leffen to political figures such as Adolf Hitler and accuse him of trying to establish a "totalitarian regime". Nevertheless, there are also many who claim that Hax's video has merit, if not tainted in overly dramatic language and comparisons, and point to the community's history in being overly forgiving of its best players as reason to not entirely dismiss Hax's accusations. Leffen himself posted that he was unsure of his next course of action and would be speaking to a lawyer. Hax would eventually private the video, which has since been reuploaded by multiple smaller channels.
On June 11th, 2021, Hax published a revised version of the video, which in contrast was an hour shorter and consisted solely of Hax talking in front of the camera. Hax would speak on the subject through Twitter, posting an apology for the presentation of "Evidence.zip 2" and continuing to post comments about the "situation" of the Smash scene. The revised video would also be privated later on.
iBDW conflict, hiatus, and ban
On June 21st, 2021, iBDW accused Hax for downplaying and making fun of iBDW's story of being sexually assaulted by his own mother. iBDW also tweeted that he attempted to retrieve evidence to support his claims from Facebook messages, but that Hax had deleted the relevant messages. Hax responded in a series of now-deleted Tweets, accusing iBDW for faking the story in order to gain Hax's sympathy as well as taking his comment out-of-context.
Following the accusation and ban, as well as the evidence.zip 2 controversy, Hax posted a TwitLonger on June 23rd, in which he apologized on how he handled both controversies and claimed to "exonerate" himself from iBDW's claims. However, he refused to backtrack on any of the accusations made to both Leffen and iBDW. In particular, he reiterated how iBDW falsified many parts of his story in order to salvage their decaying friendship, and after that failed, iBDW went on to make several defamatory statements on Hax to try and ruin his reputation. Hax concluded the TwitLonger by once again apologizing for his behavior within the last few months and stating that he was willing to ban himself for 3 months due to how he initially handled iBDW's accusations. Hax then posted a second TwitLonger a few hours later, in which he further responded to iBDW's rebuttal, paragraph by paragraph. Hax concluded this TwitLonger by asking iBDW to both contact him in private and dismiss his claims against him, lest he take legal action against him.
Within an hour of posting the second TwitLonger, Hax deleted his tweets that linked to both of the TwitLongers he had posted that day. He then tweeted that he would take a hiatus, saying he didn't find it possible to continue discussing the controversies. In the tweet, he also apologized to the community and reiterated his request for iBDW to contact him. The next day, iBDW revealed in a Twitter thread that the two indeed talked in private and were now mostly on the same page, noting that Hax is "clearly not cool with sexual assault/incest." Hax also returned to Twitter to post about the conversation, apologizing to iBDW, whom he called "a good man," and the community while also limiting his guilt to certain comments he made in his own Discord server.
On the same day as iBDW's final announcement, several TOs signed a document that indefinitely banned Hax from their tournaments, and his name was added to the Global Ban Database.
Evidence.zip 3 and ban plea
On August 14th, 2021, Hax released another revision to his video called Evidence.zip 3. In the video, he accuses Leffen of creating social engineering campaigns against multiple players, such as Hungrybox and Hax himself. The video also reiterates multiple allegations from "evidence.zip 2", such as character profiles from the original "evidence.zip" and alleged harassment levied towards Hax himself. Hax alleges that Leffen deleted 6 years worth of tweets in response to his evidence.zip 2 video, as well as being lawyer-bluffed. Hax also criticises his global ban from the scene, saying that his accusations had evidence and were not libelous or defamatory as his ban statement claimed, as well as claiming that his ban was hypocritical when doing nothing in regards to Leffen.
Building on some accusations from "evidence.zip 2", Hax points out Leffen's sudden tonal shift towards Hungrybox in 2017 and accuses him of social engineering against Hungrybox to usurp his followerbase. Hax discusses where he tried to talk Leffen out of this at Smash Summit 5, but failed to do so. Hax accuses Leffen of blackmailing Hungrybox during 2017, where he continually talked about "terrible things" Hungrybox was doing but never releasing them; Hax claims that this prompted Hungrybox to stay silent. Hax also claims that the then newly introduced Snowy was used by Leffen in his now-deleted "One of many reasons to dislike hbox" video to create "Hungrybox story" memes, which eventually culminated into Hungrybox being harassed in a Walmart store in April 2018. Hax also argues that Leffen later decided Snowy was of no use to him and began to openly slander him.
Hax once again accused Leffen of manipulating the #MeToo movement, pointing out that the victim testimony given in his video on the allegations in the Smash community on July 2nd contradicted C's statement in the original evidence.zip, which pinned Leffen himself as the abuser. He also accused Leffen of misrepresenting and even contradicting many claims in his videos on the topic, as well as making insincere tweets to "gain clout". Hax further criticised Leffen for circulating the rumour about Mew2King masturbating on a Smash player, which was proven to be false after Mew2King addressed the allegations. Earlier in the video but relevant to this topic, Hax built upon Technicals' video on Sky Williams and also accused Leffen of conspiring with Jisu, whom he claimed was manipulative when they were dating, to defame ZeRo with baseless allegations, before verifiable accusations against him had emerged. He restated Technicals' claims that Leffen's allegations of ZeRo sharing pornographic images with other Smashers were moot, for not only were they of age, but they also testified that they were looking at normal images of anime girls instead of porn. Hax also pointed out that, prior to Jisu's allegations against ZeRo, Jisu contacted Leffen, and made her tweet statement only minutes after Leffen tweeted that he would log out of Twitter to gather his thoughts. Hax claimed that this was strategic and part of the conspiracy, accusing Leffen of drawing attention to the allegations for personal gain and trying to become the most popular Smasher on Twitter by forcing ZeRo into retirement, allegedly in a similar manner to the way Leffen treated Hungrybox. Hax also believes that Leffen's wish to expel Technicals from the community in response to their challenges to the allegations is an attempt to further manipulate the situation.
Hax criticised Leffen for his response to Samox's Metagame documentary, claiming he lied about his old controversies and pressured Samox to "censor" victim testimonies and other information regarding them. Hax also expressed concern about the revised version of the documentary, particularly regarding the narrative about the original evidence.zip and the portrayal of Leffen as a "hero", as well as how Leffen now had a theme song deriding the evidence.zip archive. He alleged that this set a precedent for top players to lie and control the narrative, and argued that Samox had not only become one of Leffen's "victims" by giving into Leffen's manipulations, but broke his "integrity" as a purveyor of facts by underrepresenting the accusations in evidence.zip.
Hax's final accusations targeted Leffen's social media behavior, particularly the alleged dishonesty of his profile bio's and him blocking anyone attempting to discuss the allegations on either Twitter or his Twitch stream. He restated a claim from evidence.zip 2 that this behavior exhibited a degree of narcissism and psychopathy indicative of the dark triad, something he believes those who testified in evidence.zip 2 were worried would eventually "erode" the Smash scene. Hax also condemned Leffen for allegedly letting this behavior rub off on people like Jisu, who went silent on social media for several days after Technicals' video on Sky Williams and never offered a proper response to it, whilst blocking anyone that attempted to discuss it. Hax concluded the video by admitting that accusing Leffen of creating a "regime" is extreme, but alleged that there was no better way to describe Leffen's actions.
The video was criticised primarily for the same reasons as "evidence.zip 2", with onlookers expressing skepticism for a myriad of Hax's claims. Many argued that Hax's videos were indeed defamatory, with them believing that the claims and motives are out of character or even extreme. Others have criticised Hax for repeatedly using the original evidence.zip, believing that Leffen has changed and the antiquated nature of the document makes it questionable to cite. Finally, the video was criticised for comparing Leffen to Donald Trump as an allegory to paint the former as "totalitarian". Nevertheless, some in the community have chosen to side with Hax, particularly those who watched Technicals' video on Sky Williams and agreed that there is precedent for Leffen manipulating situations for his own benefit, as well as agreeing that Hax's ban was unjustified and hypocritical.
On August 29th, Hax released another video contesting his ban from the scene, which directly addresses a document by Mikey outlining the reasons for his ban. He criticized the statement for saying there was no evidence to back his allegations and for being overly generous to Leffen overall, and argues that the very logic used to justify his ban could be used to justify banning Leffen for his interactions with Hungrybox alone.
On September 24th, Hax released a video where he apologised for his conduct throughout his conflict with Leffen, claiming it to come from an argument over the revision of the Metagame Documentary that he took too far. This also came with an apology tweet on Twitter.