Smash

TSM Leffen wins DreamHack Smash Ultimate despite how much he hates it

by Scott Robertson
DreamHack

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Smash Bros. Melee legend William ‘Leffen’ Hjelte has never been shy about criticizing Smash Ultimate. During his singles run at DreamHack Winter, he lamented about having to compete all the way until winning the whole tournament.

Just because you’re good at your job, even the best at your job, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to love your job. 

Leffen has been a Smash Bros. pro for years, and is renowned for his accomplishments in Melee. His slaying of the ‘Five Gods’ of Melee (Armada, Hungrybox, Mango, Mew2King, PPMD) propelled him into stardom, landing him sponsorships and a contract with Team SoloMid.

Until now, success in Smash Ultimate has eluded him, but he’s just claimed his first Ultimate title with a win at DreamHack Winter, taking the final series over Ramin ‘Mr.R’ Delshad from beastcoast. But that victory doesn’t change the fact that Leffen still absolutely despises Smash Ultimate.

His sentiments toward Ultimate are not at all new, having just days before DreamHack Winter said he was considering quitting Ultimate, saying on Twitter that there’s simply no way he could hate any game more than he hates Ultimate.

Despite this hatred, Leffen arrived to DreamHack in a competitive mood, downing his first three opponents before falling to his eventual grand finals opponent in Mr.R. Leffen’s impressive play on Pokemon Trainer helped him qualify for the final Singles bracket, but made it clear throughout his run that he was not enjoying himself.

Prior to making top 8, Leffen tweeted that it was still fun to compete despite his feelings toward the game, and expressed excitement toward fueling himself “with pure hatred” for only one more day of Smash Ultimate.

Even after ensuring a top 8 finish, he really tore into Smash Ultimate, calling it a terrible game that produces wins that don’t feel earned, and saying he can’t wait to be done playing in the tournament. He even openly hoped not to win against Rayane ‘Ogey’ Noubli, but ending up winning 3-0 to make the final bracket.

But after avenging his earlier loss to Mr.R in the grand finals, in which he reset the bracket and reverse-swept the second series, Leffen declared that his victory wasn’t just over the competition, but over Smash Ultimate itself. He also claimed he came close to uninstalling the game in the middle of the series.

Following his victory, Leffen apologized for some of his “whiny” comments, reiterating how much Ultimate “triggers” him, and how he can’t help but be passionate about games. He later said that his lack of passion, and the lack of passion he sees from crowds, dissuades him from wanting to play.

With the victory, Leffen claims his first Smash Ultimate championship, but we’ll see if he decides to continue competing in a game he truly despises.