Year after year, Melee players look forwards to EVO more than almost any other event. People want to see who will win. Everybody wants to know if Joseph “Mang0” Marquez or Adam “Armada” Lindgren will achieve the coveted “3VO,” whether Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma will get another one, or if a new competitor will take home their first.
This year, it was the final item on that list. Dropping only two games the entire tournament, William “Leffen” Hjelte dominated everybody he faced in the bracket on his way to a convincing win. Leffen said in January of 2016 that he would win EVO, and now he’s finally achieved that goal.
— Twitch Esports (@TwitchEsports) August 5, 2018
After being decimated by Hungrybox on Fountain of Dreams in the first game, Leffen turned it up to smoothly win the set on Pokemon Stadium and then Battlefield. That set would be indicative of Leffen’s play for the rest of EVO as he retained the razor-sharp mentality and punish game in each of winners finals and grand finals.
The winners finals set against a very stressed out Justin “Plup” McGrath was a swift and commanding 3-0. After that set was over, Leffen was poised to win EVO from winners side, simply waiting for an opponent to rise to him.
WITH THE 3-0 AND A TAUNT, LEFFEN WINS EVO 2018 pic.twitter.com/BxZe24TIxk
— Tylor (@theSirToasty) August 5, 2018
That opponent would be his fellow Swede, Armada. After two Fox dittos that were fully in Leffen’s control, Armada attempted to slow Leffen down by choosing Peach on Final Destination, presumably aiming to chaingrab Leffen and halt his momentum.
Leffen’s formidable skill in the Peach would shine on FD, though, as he pulled out a low percent win game three, taunted in-game, and popped off. With that, Leffen had won EVO 2018.
This win means so much for me personally. Not because of "prestige" or money, but because I had to overcome so many personal struggles to win. Evo has always been my worst tournament perfomance wise, but I finally managed to focus just doing my best for the task at hand.
— Leffen (@TSM_Leffen) August 5, 2018
For his part, Leffen said that winning EVO was big for him mostly because he normally struggles so much at the event. He’d been putting together so many great performances this year that it was only a matter of time before he took home a win at a gigantic tournament.
It’s certainly fitting that EVO should be his first huge win in 2018. Congratulations again to Leffen for reminding everybody of how phenomenal his Fox is and winning EVO 2018.