Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) was a huge talking point in the recent Black Ops Cold War alpha, and it even caught the attention of Smash Bros. pro William ‘Leffen’ Hjelte, who attacked Team Summertime’s Davis ‘Hitch’ Edwards for wanting it to be removed.
The Black Ops Cold War Alpha playtest kicked off on September 18 and SBMM immediately set the internet ablaze. It felt far more prevalent than in previous games and therefore, countless pro players and content creators slammed its inclusion in standard playlists.
Not long after the action started, the issue had spread across social media, attracting thoughts and opinions from far and wide. Veteran Smash Bros. competitor Leffen even chimed in on the drama; the Swedish pro outlined his stance on the matter, shutting down anyone complaining about SBMM.
“Watching people argue that FPS players should in fact, not play people who are as good as them, but people worse than them so they can stroke their ego is so f***ing pathetic,” he said. Naturally, this caught steam within the CoD community and popular content creator Hitch fired back to explain their side of the argument.
if you’ve never played FPS games then it makes sense you think this way. so much different than a fighting game.
you can casually play pickup basketball with people of all skill levels. you can’t casually play tennis if the skill level is too different.
— davis. (@hitchariide) September 19, 2020
“What’s the joy in beating people up who play once every two weeks if you’re playing this shit full time?” Leffen questioned. “It’s very obviously that content creators are trying to trick their audience that you should in fact, not be okay with a system that makes for fair matches.”
Taking issue with this approach, Hitch put forward an analogy. He compared the CoD experience to pickup basketball, something that can be played “casually with people of all skill levels.” In Smash Bros, it’s often a 1v1 battle, more comparable to tennis, Hitch explained. “You can’t casually play tennis if the skill level is too different. If you’ve never played FPS games it makes sense you think this way.”
Throughout the Cold War alpha, SBMM was extremely effective. If you won a few consecutive games, lobbies would ‘level up’ in a big way. It got to the point where the best competitors were reverse boosting to reach less intense lobbies.
— Seth Huntsmen (@scump) September 19, 2020
This issue is something Leffen would “never be able to understand,” according to Hitch: “The only way he [Leffen] can have fun is if he played the .000000001% of players that [are] around his skill level.”
“Of course you’re a pathetic COD content creator who s***s on new players shilling on SBMM,” Leffen fired back.
The community is forced into believing SBMM is a huge issue, Leffen continued, but in reality, it’s just the top 1% of players wanting easier lobbies.
“Keep gaslighting your 14-year-old audience,” he said. “F***ing humble yourself and try to understand the other side (aka 99% of the player base).”
fucking humble yourself and try to understand the other side (aka 99% of the playerbase) instead of running away and jerking off to your shitty clips vs noobs.
— Leffen (@TSM_Leffen) September 19, 2020
The two went back and forth on social media throughout the duration of the Cold War alpha. Eventually, Leffen appeared to grow tired of the argument and proceeded to outright block Hitch on Twitter.
“The first person to block me on Twitter wasn’t an ex-girlfriend, a CoD troll, an Infinite staff member, or anyone I’ve met,” Hitch joked. “It was Super Smash Brothers Melee player Leffen. What a weird day.”