William “Leffen” Hjelte won Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles at Super Smash Con 2019 in Chantilly, Virginia on Aug 11. This marks Leffen’s first tournament victory since DreamHack Winter 2018 last December. It also allowed Leffen to break his recent streak of getting exclusively 3rd place at tournaments.
Leffen swept through the first rounds of pools unopposed, defeating the likes of “bobby big ballz” and Alejandro “Chango” Callahan. He dropped two games across his next sets, one to Michael “MikeHaze” Pulido and one to James “Swedish Delight” Liu. Upon reaching Smash Con Melee top 8, Leffen did not drop any more games for the remainder of the tournament.
Leffen confidently won his Winners Semis set against Arjun “lloD” Malhotra. He then dominantly conquered the No. 1 player in the world, Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma. Leffen secured his first tournament victory of the year with a 6-0 over Hungrybox between Winners Finals and Grand Finals.
Though he didn’t win a tournament prior to the Smash Con Melee event, Leffen has still had an impressive 2019. He was ranked No. 4 on the Summer 2019 MPGR. He boasts winning records over Hungrybox, Zain Naghmi, Justin “Plup” McGrath, Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto, and Cody “iBDW” Schwab. Leffen is also even in sets against Joseph “Mang0” Marquez and boasts an additional win over Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson. Perhaps most impressive, Leffen is the most consistent top 5 player, with no losses outside of the top 5.
This year’s Super Smash Con Melee bracket was riddled with upsets. Aziz “Hax” Al-Yami lost to David “Wisp” Winings. Zachary “SFAT” Cordoni lost to Kevin Maples. Axe placed 13th after losing to two Ice Climbers players, Michael “PudgyPanda” Serpico and Daniel “ChuDat” Rodriguez. Upsets like these made the bracket play out in peculiar ways. For example, Hax lost to SFAT for 65th place, while SFAT lost to Axe for 25th.
Virginia resident lloD had a shocking 4th place finish at Super Smash Con 2019. His run was highlighted by two victories over aMSa. He earned additional victories over Kevin Maples and Matt “Polish” W. lloD has been largely inactive this year in order to focus on med school. However, his Smash Con Melee performance marked an excellent return to form.
Edgard “n0ne” Sheleby had an explosive 5th place finish at Super Smash Con. After his fairly early loss to Joey “Lucky” Aldama, n0ne put together an extremely solid losers run. Along the way, he beat Kevin “PewPewU” Toy, Avery “Ginger” Wilson, Polish, and iBDW. This marks n0ne’s first major top 8 of 2019 and his best tournament this year by far.
Polish scored many upsets on his way to an unexpected 9th place finish. He made it to Winners Quarters by defeating ChuDat, Kalindi “KJH” Henderson, and Michael “Nintendude” Brancato. Interestingly, Polish claimed to be playing bad in the sets he won, while playing well when he lost to lloD. Of course, the outcome stays the same regardless of how he played.
Some of the top seeds underperformed in Super Smash Con Melee Singles. Mang0 placed 9th, losing to Zain and aMSa. He is now 1-2 against Zain and 0-3 against aMSa for the year. Plup placed 17th because of his decision to play Samus. Still, he earned a win over Jerry Powell and had respectable losses to Swedish Delight and Axe.
Dylan Tate is a student in the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, including Smash Bros., Splatoon, ARMS, and Pokémon. Dylan also writes competitive guides for Dignitas and Nintendo news articles for Nintendo Enthusiast.