“L3ff3n” shines at APEX 2015

Josh Santiago, Staff Writer

“That ain’t Falco” -Pro player


Despite controversy around the tournament operator and a last minute Venue change, APEX 2015 was still able go on, as Smash Bros broke records with the long awaited tournament.

A combination of nostalgia and captivating gameplay allowed Smash to break records: APEX 2015 had the most amount of viewers watching live of any smash Tournament, peaking at nearly One hundred thirty thousand unique viewers. At it’s peak, the Super Smash Bros view count was larger than that of League of Legends, who also had an important tournament  of their own the same night.

The technicality of Melee is what sets it apart from other games. On the surface it’s simple: Knock your opponent off the stage to make them lose lives. But players have mastered the art of “Wavedashing” and “L-cancelling” among other advance techniques in order to get an edge on others. While technically glitches, these advance techniques push the game engine to its limits, as players memorize frame data and match ups to stay on top. One cannot simply wavedash to win, but the increased mobility and diversity of appliance, the smash bros “metagame” has been developing for years, with no signs of stopping.

The highlight of the tournament was the salty suite: a set of organized matches between well known players. It also set up one  in the Smash Bros Community.

It was during the Salty Suite when infamous Swedish smasher William Hjelte, better known as “Leffen” to the smash community, was called out by Kashan Khan, one of the founding members of the community. Leffen is known for his overall disrespectful nature and attitude to the community as a whole. For years, Leffen was seen as the bully and villain of the Smash Bros community. Many drew parallels to the character Gary Oak-the archrival antagonist of the pokemon cartoon. The match was planned months in advance, Khan calling Leffen out numerous times on social media. Khan even released a rap video to insult Leffen personally. Khan hoped to humble Leffen, as Leffen’s cocky nature was deemed toxic to the community as a whole.

Khan set up a rather large wager for the match. Both money and pride were on the line: as both players are well known to play the same color, the loser of the set would never be able to use the pallet again in a tournament, as well as losing one hundred dollars. In the end, justice was not served. Leffen beat Khan 5-0, as Khan failed to win even a single match. It was very clear that Hjelte did not play seriously, throughout the match Hjelte laughed and taunted Khan, even allowing Khan to catch up by giving up a life in game 4. Despite the disrespect, Leffen backed it up, sending Khan into obscurity.

But the hype did not stop there.

Joseph Marquez, known as Mang0, could not let it stop there. Mang0 is known as one of the best smash players of all time, challenged Leffen to a match of their own, this time one thousand dollars on the line. Mang0 had previously 4 stocked Leffen twice at separate tournaments: meaning  he was able to win 2 matches against Leffen without losing a single life. The intense rivalry between them was well known. If they were to meet in the main tournament, the bet was on. But in order to do so, Leffen would have to win against Mew2King, a player he had previously never been able to defeat before.

Leffen ended up winning against Mew2king for the first time in his entire smash career. The fight was on. There was an obvious bias toward Mang0, the entire venue chanting “U-S-A” throughout the heated match. But even with the entire community against him, Leffen beat mang0 out 3-1, winning the thousand dollars. However, the hype died there, as Leffen lost to his fellow swedish player Armada, showing that hard work and knowledge of the game beats out hype every time.

The other smash contenders also performed exceptionally well. Japanese player aMSa, who is known for playing as Yoshi (a low performing character in Smash) won the hearts of many with his enthusiasm and impressive play. The victor of APEX, known as PPMD, wowed the crowd with his Marth performance, beating out Armada in the last match of the night.

Smash bros has reached a very mainstream audience. Major matches have reached the top of Reddit multiple times; the most noteworthy of them being the infamous “money match” between Leffen and Mango, which reached the number one post on Reddit within hours of its posting.

EVO 2015 is the next major smash tournament. The Smash Bros series is the only franchise to have 2 games in the roster for EVO.