Leffen is a professional smasher from Stockholm, Sweden. He is currently considered to be one of the best Melee players in the world along with Hungrybox, Mango, Axe, Wizzrobe, Zain, aMSa, and Plup. He started off as a Falco main, but later switched to Fox, and is now known as one of the most technical Fox players in the world and the best Fox player in the world. He is the first of only two players in competitive Melee history to have taken a set off of each of the Five Gods (the other being Plup), and has often been called a god himself since his ascent in 2014. Leffen is currently ranked 1st on the Swedish Melee Power Rankings, 1st on the European Melee Power Rankings, and 2nd on the 2019 MPGR.
Although Leffen didn't play Brawl competitively and only went to a few Smash 4 tournaments, he was active in Ultimate for the game's first year, maining Pokémon Trainer and briefly touching Pichu and Roy. During this period, he was considered one of the best Pokémon Trainer players in the world along with Tweek, Pandarian, and Ned. Leffen has defeated players such as Tweek, Salem, WaDi, Puppeh, Mr.R, Maister, ZD, and 8BitMan. He is currently ranked in Area 51 on the Fall 2019 PGRU and an Honorable Mention on both the Swedish Ultimate Power Rankings and the European Smash Rankings.
Leffen's introduction to Smash was through Brawl, which he played online in 2009.
In 2010, he started attending tournaments for Melee. He mained Falco and also trained a Yoshi secondary, which he used to great success at Stockholm locals and at Danish events.
Throughout the course of 2012, Leffen established himself as Europe's second strongest player, with key results at Smashers' Reunion: Melee Grande and at hf.lan 4. He sparred often with Armada, making headway but never taking a set. He came closest at Beauty 6 in January 2013, where he was leading winners' finals 3-2 (in a best-of-7) and brought the sixth game to last stock before Armada clutched out the victory, going on to win the set 4-3.
At Apex 2013, Leffen defeated MacD and Cactuar in winners to meet Hungrybox. He made a splash by bringing Hungrybox to last hit, but would lose this set as well. This close loss would go on to inspire a Salty Suite rematch the following year. In losers, Leffen immediately lost another last-hit set, this time to JAVI.
Soon thereafter, Leffen was banned from many European tournaments by a group of organizers and Smashers, largely led by Armada (discussed in greater detail here). He attended only three more events for the rest of the year. He traveled to Evo 2013, defeating PewPewU before losing again to Hungrybox, this time without taking a game, and to Shroomed in losers to place 9th. He and Ice scored an upset victory in doubles against eventual victors Mew2King and Hungrybox; the European team would go on to place 5th.
Leffen also attended a NYC local in September called CFST: Warzone 2 where he suffered unusual losses to MattDotZeb and G$, perhaps due to lack of practice. He finished out the year at the French hf.lan 6 where he placed second, defeating Baxon and Salepate convincingly before losing two close sets to Ice. Given his powerful play despite his scarce results, Leffen was ranked 14th on the 2013 SSBMRank.
Leffen's ban ended early in 2014, allowing him to compete in Europe again.
Emergence as a top 6 player
On day 1 at Apex 2014, Leffen and Hungrybox played in a Salty Suite set, which Hungrybox won 3-1. In bracket, Leffen defeated Darrell, Scar, and Axe before finally taking revenge on Hungrybox 2-1 in winners' quarters to reach top 8 and earn his first win over one of "the Five Gods". He went on to lose to Mew2King 1-3 in winners' semis. He eliminated Colbol 2-0 in losers' quarters, and then had a close and intense set with Mango in losers' semis, but was ultimately eliminated 2-3. This 4th place showing immediately confirmed Leffen as a player to watch for the rest of the year and would presage his ascent to godhood.
Leffen won his first European national at B.E.A.S.T 4, which was also his first European tournament after his ban was lifted. He lost to Ice 2-3 in winners' semis, but then eliminated Fuzzyness 3-0 in losers' quarters, Overtriforce 3-1 in losers' semis, and Ice 3-2 in a rematch in losers' finals. In grand finals, he managed to win two sets against Armada, 3-0 and 3-1, respectively. This marked his second "god" victory. Later, Leffen won Republic of Fighters 3, qualifying for the MLG Anaheim 2014 championship bracket. He defeated Ice 3-1 in winners' semis, but lost to Armada 0-3 in winners' finals. After eliminating aMSa 3-2 in losers' finals, he came back and won 6-0 against Armada in two best of 5 sets.
In his pool at MLG Anaheim 2014, Leffen defeated PPMD 3-2 (the third "god" he had beaten), Axe 3-1, Colbol 3-1, s0ft 3-0, and Remen 3-0, but lost to Mew2King 1-3 and Hax 2-3. Seeded in losers' bracket in the championship bracket, he defeated both Westballz and Hax 3-2, before losing to PPMD 1-3 in losers' quarters, placing 5th overall. At EVO 2014, Leffen defeated Lambchops 2-1, OkamiBW 2-0, and S2J 2-0 in the winners' quarters pools, but lost to Mew2King 0-2. In losers' bracket, he was eliminated by Silent Wolf 1-2, finishing off at an underwhelming 9th place overall.
At COMEBACK I, Leffen defeated Android 3-0 in winners' semis to make it to winners' finals against Armada, in which he lost 1-3. After defeating Android 3-1 in losers' finals, he lost again to Armada in grand finals, this time 2-3, placing 2nd in Melee singles. Leffen also won Melee doubles with Beat, defeating Dev and Kuja 3-1 in winners' semis, Android and Zoler 3-1 in winners' finals, and Armada and C 3-1 in grand finals.
At The Big House 4, Leffen defeated Hungrybox 3-2 in winners' quarters to advance to winners' semis. He then faced off against Armada in another close set, ultimately managing to clench out a victory 3-2 and advance to winners' finals for the first time at an American national. However, he lost 0-3 to Mew2King in winners' finals and 1-3 to Mango in losers' finals, with a 4-stock by Mango to close out the set.
At B.E.A.S.T 5, Leffen managed to solidly defeat Armada 3-1 in winners' semis to advance to winners' finals. He managed to take his first victory over Mango in a 3-2 set to advance to grand finals, where he would once again face Armada. Despite a closely fought set from both players (with Armada notably 4-stocking Leffen in game 4), Leffen managed to win grand finals 3-2, earning his first national victory with at least two of the "gods" present.
After this 1st place finish at a major, there was one achievement left before Leffen could indisputably be considered in the same tier as the "gods": defeating Mew2King, the only one he had not beaten.
This set the stage for Apex 2015, the largest Melee tournament in history at the time, where all five "gods" were present, and where Leffen and Mew2King were seeded to play in winners' quarterfinals. After beating Larry Lurr and aMSa in top 48, Leffen made it to Mew2King. In a momentous 2-1 victory, including a dominant 3-stock on game 3, Leffen defeated Mew2King, becoming the first player to take a tournament set from all five "gods" of Melee. He then went on to face Mango in winners' semifinals; Leffen beat Mango once again, 3-1, to advance to winners' finals and prove that his previous victory was no fluke. Looking poised to take the tournament, Leffen then fell to PPMD 2-3 and Armada 1-3, earning 3rd place. He outplaced three of the five "gods" and cemented himself as one of what was now the "top six," a player able to beat any other Melee player and take major tournaments. As the "Five Gods" is a historical term, the community gave Leffen the title of "Godslayer."
Leffen continued to develop as a top-level threat. At CEO 2015, Leffen earned 1st in singles--his first American national victory. He had a close set with Plup in winners' quarters but ultimately won 2-1, and proceeded to sweep the rest of the tournament, beating Shroomed 3-0 and Armada twice in winners' finals and grand finals; each set was 3-0 and 3-1, respectively. In doubles, Leffen teamed with Hungrybox, placing 2nd; they had managed to trade sets with PewPewU and SFAT and take a set off of Armada and Shroomed, but they ultimately lost a close second set 2-3.
At FC Smash 15XR: Return, Leffen earned 1st in singles. He defeated Swedish Delight 3-0 in winners' quarters, he then beat Hungrybox 3-1 in winners' semis and Armada 3-1 in winners' finals, including a 4-stock in game 1 on Final Destination. In grand finals; he met Hungrybox once again and beat him 3-1.
Leffen once again got first place at WTFox singles, including an impressive 3-0 victory over Mang0's Falco in grand finals, making three consecutive first place finishes in singles. At this point, Leffen looked dominant--a favorite to take future major tournaments.
However, he failed to repeat this success at EVO 2015, being sent into losers by Hungrybox, and then eliminated at 5th place by Plup's Samus.
At Super Smash Con 2015, Leffen bounced back and took first place once again in singles, beating Mew2King 6-1 collectively in winners' finals and grand finals. Mew2King answered back in their next meeting at PAX Prime 2015, where Mew2King took the tournament with a collective 6-0 victory over Leffen.
Leffen once again failed to capture first place at Paragon Los Angeles 2015, being sent to losers by Mew2King, and being eliminated by Hungrybox, ending another tournament run at 5th place.
At HTC Throwdown, Leffen made it to Grand Finals from the winners side, where he defeated Hungrybox in grand finals 3-0.
Leffen's reign of dominance was cut short, however. He was unable to enter The Big House 5, Smash Summit, GENESIS 3, Battle of the Five Gods, and Smash Summit 2 due to international visa issues. Furthermore, he was denied a worker's visa from the United States, primarily for reasons that question Melee's legitimacy as a sport. The video showing the rejection letter started a movement to reverse the decision. Eventually, Leffen came to be temporarily allowed into the USA up until and throughout July 2016, tentatively letting him attend EVO 2016. Due to his visa going through additional processing resulting from his deportation from the US however, Leffen was ultimately unable to attend EVO 2016.
During his American visa issues, he notably won Melee singles at Get On My Level 2016, after beating Mew2King 3-2, Armada 3-1, Hungrybox 3-2, and Mango 3-1 without losing a set.
Leffen's visa was finally accepted on October 3rd, 2016, allowing him to compete in the US again. Since then, he has remained a steady top-level threat, but has not reached the same dominance as in 2015 before his visa issues.
At Super Smash Con 2019, Leffen took 1st place, notably 6-0'ing Hungrybox.
Other Smash games
Upon Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's release, Leffen often streamed the game and offered his own opinion on the meta. He was one of the early pioneers of using Pokémon Trainer and has since used the character successfully in tournament. Leffen briefly dropped Pokémon Trainer in favor of Roy and Pichu in April 2019, citing that Pokémon Trainer was not worth the effort, but he would eventually return to the character. Leffen also began labbing Joker upon his release and discovered an infinite lock technique performed by repeatedly using short-hopped up aerials under the opponent while the opponent is on top of a platform. The technique has since been named "Leffoble" in honor of him.
At the end of April, Leffen announced his semi-retirement from Ultimate singles, mainly citing the smaller scene in Sweden and issues with online play making it difficult for him to get any meaningful practice. However, the release of Hero saw his return to the game, and he intended to compete in EVO 2019, but issues with his visa kept him from doing so. Leffen continued to enter for both Melee and Ultimate at major tournaments such as Super Smash Con 2019, and although he put more importance towards Melee, he still found success in Ultimate, with set wins over Tweek, Salem, and other top players. Following his first place at DreamHack Winter 2019, Leffen announced he would once again be putting Ultimate on the backburner, instead focusing on Melee and other fighting games. He has since been critical of the game, which has brought about some controversy.
Leffen is the best solo Fox main in the world; he has consistent execution and movement, and boasts solid fundamentals in all aspects of the game, using a methodical and efficient approach, making him a very well-rounded player. Leffen has both a great neutral game, as he rarely overextends or overreaches in games even against weaker opponents, and a solid combo game, especially against fastfallers. He is renowned for his proficiency against Falco, Peach, and other Foxes, having made his first upsets against the Five Gods in those matchups. Leffen's prowess against Peach is so great that even Armada, the best Peach in the world, would primarily opt for the Fox ditto in tournament instead, generally only playing Peach on Final Destination.
While Leffen is well-rounded, he undoubtedly focuses on the mental game and adaptation more than technical play. Leffen has once stated in an interview that he believes many high-level players are held back by "flowchart" behavior that he is able to exploit. This is clearly exemplified by his ability to "clutch" out sets from losing positions, even from 0-2 deficits. Despite this, he still puts in the work to lab certain matchups or situations that give him trouble, showing his solid work ethic; he's even known to lab other miscellaneous characters solely to push the metagame forward. Along with Armada, he practices with Snowy for the Jigglypuff matchup, and has flown him out to events such as Summit in order to prepare for facing Hungrybox in bracket.
Prior to his establishment as a top 5 player, Leffen had noticeable trouble against punish-heavy players. Despite his strong fundamentals, he struggled if his opponent could overwhelm him technically, leading to losses against Silent Wolf, Westballz, and Javi, among others. He also could not defeat Mew2King for a long time, even after he had upset the rest of the Five Gods, because of that aforementioned weakness. Leffen was also noted to be fairly poor at the Samus matchup, having, at one point, losing records with HugS and Duck, both of whom are considered far below his skill level. He has also lost three times to Plup in solo Samus sets. However, he has since overcome these weaknesses and no longer drops sets as frequently to these types of players, most notably not having lost to solo Samus since 2018.
Despite being considered one of the best professional smashers in Melee, Leffen has led a controversial career as a smasher, due to his previously rude conduct during and outside of tournaments. Several players, most of which were new smashers to the scene, accused him of:
After noticing his poor behavior, Swedish tournament organizers and other Melee professionals of his caliber gave him repeated warnings concerning his attitude. In August 2012, Leffen was eventually threatened with a ban from tournaments if he did not improve his attitude, but he did not take the claim seriously. This led to further discussions among the European Smash community that culminated in his national ban from Swedish tournaments, effective February 9th, 2013.
The discussion group announcing his ban compiled a significant amount of evidence of his poor behavior into a downloadable archive, and demanded that Leffen create a lengthy apology about all of his wrongdoings and how he would change his behavior in the future, should he return to the community. On March 21st, 2013, Leffen made his public statement asking for forgiveness; despite this, he was not immediately unbanned, and ended up missing almost one year's worth of local tournaments. On January 24th, 2014, it was announced by Armada that the Swedish ban on Leffen was no longer in place . His conduct since then has since improved dramatically, but he still remains a relatively controversial figure in the community, especially on social media sites such as Reddit and Twitter, due to his blunt comments.
At Heir II the Throne, Leffen was banned from commentary on all future European Smash Circuit events for saying that it wasn't a "serious" tournament and players were playing their secondaries and not trying. Leffen notably compared the tournament to The Foundry, a series notorious for its relaxed and non-competitive atmosphere. Many argued that the TOs had overreacted in their decision, and that a full ban was an excessively harsh punishment.
During top 8 of Shine 2017, ChuDat narrowly beat Leffen 3-2 getting a reverse 3-0 on him, ending Leffen's run at 7th. It was later discovered that the set had been played on vanilla Melee instead of with UCF enabled, a mod designed to make shield dropping and dash back consistent rather then RNG based. The set would be controversially replayed, resulting in a 2-3 victory for Leffen, ending ChuDat's run at 7th. Leffen would receive backlash from this, although the decision had been made by the Shine TOs; many agreed that Leffen should not have received such negative attention for the ruling, as the TOs had created the situation by failing to check that UCF was turned on.
Opinion on Ultimate
Despite focusing on Ultimate for a year, Leffen has been openly critical about the game, even going as far as to say that playing top-level Ultimate "is just pure fucking torture to me." As a result, he has butted heads with several other Ultimate professionals. Most notably, on September 26th, he argued with Rickles that streaming Ultimate was painful to him, that he would "rather flip burgers at [sic] mcdonalds if it paid the same amount," and that streaming Ultimate was harder than holding a minimum wage job. This Tweet was met with backlash and mockery from the community: users noted the difficulty of minimum wage jobs especially during the COVID-19 pandemic while several Smashers such as Axe recounted how they hated working at their minimum wage jobs before they went professional. The Tweet eventually caused "Leffen" to trend on Twitter. Leffen would later delete and apologize for his minimum wage Tweet.