Meet The ‘Villain’ Of Super Smash Bros

If you follow competitive Melee at all, then you probably know exactly who William “Leffen” Hjelte is. Widely considered to be a “heel” player, Leffen has a reputation for being the bad guy.

There’s a reason for that. Leffen likes to shit talk and make fun of his opponents. It’s a stark contrast to other top players of the Smash Bros. scene, who tend to be more beloved.

So why do it; why play up the infamy? In this fantastic interview with the team that sponsors him, Solomid, Leffen says that he does it because it fulfils a very necessary function for the community.

“I was branded pretty early as a villain,” Leffen says. “In the beginning, I didn’t really care about it, but as time went on, I started realising that if I am to have a role in the Smash scene, I actually do like the villain role. It’s very stagnant sometimes. Since everyone is friends, nobody is really pushing each other — you’re not going to try that hard to beat someone you’re close with.”

Thinking about it like that, I kind of appreciate what Leffen is trying to do here. Yes, he’s not always the most likeable guy. But damn if his rough edges don’t turn up the drama, and make matches all the more interesting for spectators. I may not always root for him, but I appreciate that he’s around. If nothing else, he actually has the skills to back all his talk up — and that’s refreshing to see.


  • Unfortunately that’s the same attitude some people use to defend their own toxic behaviour. I’m sure many League of Legends players relate to this.

  • I think if E-Sports want to be taken seriously in the future, these type of players really need to be present, sure there are already personalities, but we need those abrasive personalities and trash talk. Every other major sporting code has those massive rivalries, heroes and villains that really bring the crowds and enthusiasm out.

    • E-Sports needs more childish, idiotic, racist/homophobic insulting assholes? For E-sports to be taken seriously, of all reasons? The fact there’s so muhc of that crap going on is one of the primary reasons it isn’t getting taken seriously. Real-world sports themselves have rules and personal fines in place to reduce that crap.

      • I’ll admit I haven’t watched any of his games, so I don’t know the exact insults he uses, and I definitely don’t condone homophobia or racism.
        But sport is built off intrigue, and sadly ratings/money. Michael Jordan defined a generation of athletes and turned the NBA into a global brand, but ask those who played against him? The majority of them will say he was an asshole, and people pay to watch that kind of thing unfortunately. So I mean taking E-sports Seriously in more of a business sense

        • But sport is built off intrigue

          Sport is built on Person/People A wanting to do X before Person/People B do.

          The only intrigue is not knowing who wins.

          Ratings/Money hasn’t anything to do with it because, again, most professional sports have rules about sledging/bad behavior, ect. Players and clubs get fined for these things, as well as being banned from playing.

          Why do they have these rules? Because of money. No company wants to be associated with someone who runs around, running their mouth off. No brand is going to want to be associated with threatening people.

          Michael Jordan’s an interesting thing though. He was an asshole, a lot of stories support that. The thing though, is that we live in a time of instant reporting. Someone high profile does something wrong? Everyone everywhere knows about it. For example, Tiger Woods. In the 90’s, it probably wouldn’t have been that big of a blow up. One of the things MJ did was comparing penis sizes of his 3 year old son with the children of 2 other teammates. If anyone tried that these days, the media would be lynching him.

          If that was well known, could you imagine sponsors waning to be associated with that? Money talks, and these days it says “Grow up.”

          • Valid points, but like I said E-Sports is a business and no one will watch a bunch of guys play in friendlies against each other, it’d be boring. It needs to be a decent middle ground, with personalities that are interesting, so yeah you get the corporate interest, but they aren’t completely volatile. I still believe there’s a place to be competitive and the sledging that comes with that, without being politically incorrect.

          • Valid points, but like I said E-Sports is a business and no one will watch a bunch of guys play in friendlies against each other, it’d be boring.

            People have done this for decades, both digital and real world sports. And ‘friendlies’ doesn’t mean ‘not aggro’. You can still have serious competition matches without needing aggression between players.

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