The God Slayer returns to claim his second Battle of BC 4 title.
Team SoloMid's William "Leffen" Hjelte took first place in Melee at Battle of BC 4. The Swedish Smash icon was one of many international players to make the overseas trip to Vancouver, Canada for the Smash World Tour Gold-tier event.
Leffen's run was nearly flawless, going undefeated in sets and only dropping three games the entire tournament.
First Major offline victory in recent history
This is Leffen's first victory at a major offline event in nearly three years. The last came at Super Smash Con 2019, months before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shutdown. It is also his second time winning Battle of BC, having won the very first edition of the tournament back in 2016.
Leffen's Legend Continue to Grow
Leffen is one of the most legendary players in Melee's history. With over a decade of experience as a top player, few others can compare to his resume. Leffen is most notable for earning the "God Slayer" moniker early in his career.
This came about after Leffen became the first player to win a set against each of the "Five Gods of Melee." This stable consisted of all-time greats Adam "Armada" Lindgren, Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma, Joseph "Mango" Marquez, Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman, and Kevin "PPMD" Nanney.
Leffen's performance at Battle of BC 4 was reflective of his career trajectory. From Top 24 on, he arguably had the hardest path to Grand Final out of any player. In three consecutive matches Leffen faced crowd-favorite Masaya "aMSa" Chikamoto, the consensus #1 player in Zain Naghmi, and his longtime arch-rival Hungrybox.
After routing aMSA 3-0 to make Winners Side Top 8, Leffen stunned everyone by defeating the tournament favorite Zain next. Even more impressive is that the Swede took the set in a convincing 3-1 fashion. This set up another chapter in the fabled rivalry between Leffen and Hungrybox.
Leffen vs Hbox
The rivalry between the two dates back to the era of the Five Gods where they would constantly face each other in tournaments.
However, the animosity does not limited to the game they play. Both have admitted that they genuinely don't like one another. The legitimacy of their feud only adds to the intensity of each set they play.
Unfortunately, their match at Battle of BC 4 was rather one-sided. The first two games both came down to the final stock, but Leffen still jumped out to a 2-0 lead. He then proceeded to embarrass his biggest rival in front of a raucous crowd. Without suffering a single fall, Leffen 4-stocked Hungrybox in Game 3 to sweep the set and advance to the Grand Final.
Leffen's victory over Hungrybox is starting to become a trend in their rivalry. Since 2019, Leffen has won 7 out of 8 sets against the former PGR #1. Furthermore, the total game count in those matches is a staggering 24-5 in favor of Leffen. Their most recent result also evened the all-time set count between them at 22-22.
Return of the God Slayer
Sitting pretty in Winners Side of the Grand Final, all Leffen needed was to wait and see who his opponent would be. To no one's surprise, it was Zain who would fight his was way back into Grand Finals from the Losers bracket. Practically no player over the past two years has appeared to be on Zain's level. Beating him in a tournament is one thing, but doing it twice is next to impossible.
You know what else seemed impossible many years ago? A Melee player being able to defeat all Five Gods. Therefore Leffen is certainly no stranger to overcoming enormous odds. He reminded everyone how his legacy was built at Battle of BC 4. In another 3-1 upset, Leffen defeated Zain again to win the tournament and lift his second Battle of BC trophy.
The win likely meant a great deal to Leffen personally. He has noted recently that having to travel back and forth from Europe to the US for tournaments has made it harder for him to perform.
With more Smash World Tour events on the horizon, look for Leffen to keep up this high level of play.