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William “Leffen” Hjelte beat Álvaro “Trif” García Moral 3-1 in both the Winners Semi-Finals and the Grand Finals to win Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles at The Upset on Feb. 28.

Leffen won the tournament using the Frame1 Box-style controller, as opposed to the GameCube controller he typically uses. This was his first tournament victory with the Frame1, which he began to use in January. As of last month, he had not decided to switch permanently to the Frame1, but has continued to use it while playing on livestream to keep things exciting.

His relative inexperience with the Frame1 caused Leffen some trouble, especially when it came to recovering from offstage as Fox. Without a control stick, he struggled to get the precise Fire Fox angles needed to get to the ledge. And when he did reach the ledge, his inability to consistently ledge-dash made it harder to safely get back onto the stage.

Due to his limited technical skill, Leffen relied on a strong neutral game to defeat his opponents. In the Grand Finals against Trif, he placed his aerials in order to wall out Trif’s approaches, and start his own combos whenever he hit.

Leffen’s tournament performance culminated in game four on Fountain of Dreams, as he dash-danced away to avoid Trif’s Peach dash attack, then dashed back in to secure a grab. He down threw, setting up a tech chase that ended with a Waveshine to Up smash, finishing the game and the set.

The Upset Melee Singles continued Leffen’s trend of using European netplay tournaments as training grounds for new techniques and styles. Previously, he won Battle of the Armada 2 with Sheik, a character he specifically developed to combat Zain Naghmi’s Marth once offline tournaments resume.

More about Leffen’s run at The Upset Melee Singles

Leffen benefited from Linus “Pipsqueak” Nordin’s underperformance in Melee Singles at The Upset. Last month, Pipsqueak double-eliminated Leffen to win Valhalla Online, and entered this tournament as the first seed as a result. However, Pipsqueak lost to Elliot “Frenzy” Grossman and Dominik “Nicki” Kunze for fifth place. As a result, Leffen did not have to play him.

Leffen defeated Irfan “4tilt” K. 3-0, William “Gabe” Andersson 3-0 and Nicki 3-1 en route to the top eight. He also beat Frenzy 3-0 in The Upset Melee Winners Finals, along with double-eliminating a self-proclaimed rusty Trif.

This was the second tournament of the S.A.M.E. Circuit, an online Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament league for European players. Thanks to his first-place finish, Leffen has now surpassed Pipsqueak to claim the No. 1 spot on the circuit standings. The circuit’s next stop is Phoenix Blue Online, which will take place March 26 through March 28.

Entry fee refunds

The day before The Upset began, the owner of Poilon Software and the sponsor of this Melee tournament, Paul-Armand “Poilon” Assus, announced that French anti-lottery laws prevented the tournament from charging an entry fee or offering a prize payout. As a result, all entrants were refunded their entry fees. France’s ban on lotteries extends to all games which “require a financial contribution from the player” and those that “create the hope of a gain.”