According to Team SoloMid’s founder on twitter, William “Leffen” Hjelte will be able to return to the United States for The Big House 6. The event marks a full year since Leffen was last able to participate in events on U.S. soil. It’s been a long, hard-fought battle for the TSM management, but Leffen will finally make his return to tournament play.
One year ago, almost to the exact date of this announcement, Leffen was stopped at US customs after his VISA had issues processing. He was flown back to his home country of Sweden and missed out on The Big House 5 in 2015. Since then, Leffen has played in only European tournaments and some Canadian tournaments. He’s missed the three biggest premier events in the last year (Evolution 2016, Genesis 3, and TBH5).
His 2015 was nothing short of spectacular and we all expected to see the Swedish Fox-main make the jump again in 2016. Unfortunately, government interference prevented that, but his incredible skill has stayed consistent since the last visit to the US.
Leffen did a take a premier event in 2016, beating Joseph “Mango” Marquez from winners bracket to win Get On My Level 2016 in Toronto.
He’s also been present at some of the DreamHack events in different parts of Europe, where he took the tournament a little less seriously, and played some alternate characters. It’s now been five months since GOML 2016 and the wait to see Leffen back at 100% has been unbearable for Smash fans.
Leffen vs. the Top Five
Leffen’s return also shakes up the same four players who win every major event. It’s been all Mango, Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma, and Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman taking tournament wins in the last four months. Leffen will introduce more variety to the top 8.
He also provides an element we haven’t seen from any other player in 2016: the ability to deal with Hungrybox’s Jigglypuff. His record against Hbox is astounding.
Leffen undoubtedly adds a certain spice to the top players in Melee with his complete lack of humility after a win or a loss. He brings new fans in by being the player everyone actively roots against. He has the same general appeal that a player like Hungrybox has with people’s distaste for the play style, but respect for their overall skill level.
He’s also just ridiculously talented. He has the potential to be the best player and after a year of sitting out majors I’m eager to see if he can compete at that same consistent level he was at before the hiatus. He’s pushed Adam “Armada” Lindgren as far as he could in terms of being Sweden’s best player, now let’s see if he can follow that up on the world stage.
UPDATE: Leffen has announced, via his twitter page, that he will not be competing in singles, or if he does will go with an alternate character. The plan for him is to play doubles and possibly commentate tournament matches.
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