On January 26th of 2016, Team Solo Mid’s Leffen boldly claimed on Twitter, “I will win Evo.” On August 5th of 2018, he made good on his claim.
TSM’s Leffen defeated Alliance’s Armada in a convincing 3-0 victory in Grand Finals of EVO 2018. Leffen played in outstanding fashion from start to finish. After making his way through a tough Saturday beating names like DIGNITAS Lucky and Tempo’s S2J, he went into Sunday with a lot of momentum and confidence.
On that Sunday, Leffen was in for one of the toughest EVO brackets in Melee history, having to fight arguably the three best players this year.
Leffen was to first play Liquid’s Hungrybox, the #1 ranked player two years in a row, in Winner’s Semi-Finals. Leffen and Hungrybox have had previous issues within and outside of Melee, which added to some extra tension to the match.
Leffen looked a little shaky in the first game, as Hbox only lost one of his four stocks the entire game. However, that was the only time Leffen would struggle. He proceeded to win a close second game by getting multiple kills with Fox’s patented Up Throw into Up Air combo, an extremely strong kill confirm on Hbox’s Jigglypuff. Game three was nothing but domination from Leffen as he returned the favor from Game One, winning by three stocks.
Leffen then went against Panda Global’s Plup, who’s had his best year in Melee after winning Genesis 5 earlier this year. From start to finish, Leffen’s Fox had the better of Plup’s Sheik in Winner’s Finals. In this case, it wasn’t due to Plup playing poorly, rather it was Leffen who was playing on an entirely different level above everyone that day. Plup made a few of the games close, but none of the games ever truly felt like he had the momentum.
Leffen’s final bout would be with Armada, a true legend and possibly the best player in Melee history, in Grand Finals. Armada’s loser’s bracket run was even tougher than Leffen’s, as he went up against S2J and fellow Melee legend C9’s Mango in addition to the players Leffen had beaten earlier. These two also know each other well as friends and competitors who reside in Sweden.
As Melee commentator Toph aptly put “They go back and forth in sets, but within the context of a single set, for whatever reason one usually destroys the other.” This match was no different as Leffen was moving extremely fast in the game and reacting to everything Armada threw at him. These games felt like the Plup matches as Armada always seemed to be a step behind, despite the games being close. Leffen absolutely dominated everyone in Melee on his way to 1st place. Watch the tournament winning kill below.
Leffen also placed 33rd at EVO in Dragonball FighterZ, losing to CYCLOPS Athlete Gaming’s Fenritti.