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[Guilty Gear Esports] Leffen The Undisputed Champion of Guilty Gear Strive, or is he?

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Leffen The Undisputed Champion of Guilty Gear Strive, or is he?

[Image: guilty_gear_strive-1.jpg]
Figure 1. Guilty Gear Strive

In the established world of esports, two things have always been set in stone, for they have held for decades. These are the facts that Eastern gamers are better than Western gamers at MOBA and fighting games and that Western gamers can only play FPS games at a pro level. So much was the case until the mid-2010s when we saw the rise of Western gamers in the MOBA and Fighting game genre, a feat gamers of the 90s had given up on. And while Leffen the Swedish esports player did not start this trend he was the most major contributor to the dismantling of the previous stereotypes. For he did the unthinkable by beating the "Five Gods of Melee". Now I know many older players might know who I am talking about, but the newer players might not even know there was a group of players by that name and for that, you can thank Leffen as he dismantled them and beat every single last one of them. But this was only the start as after this Leffen would go on to join Team SoloMid as their first-ever Smash player. In 2018 he would explore more games and land on his latest endeavor that being Guilty Gear Strive.

Figure 2. Five gods of Melee

After the release of the base game of Guilty Gear Strive in 2021, Leffen would join the game on an official level, with Team SoloMid being his backer. While he did not do well in the early months of the game due to the steep learning curve, he soon used his years of experience to get acclimated to the controls and meta of the game quickly. A feat that led him to his first few victories in the esports tournaments. Some of these included his wins at the EVO 2021 online Tournament and The Big LEVO 2 – EU 2021. 2022 seemed to start great with a few minor wins but it seems he was left behind this year as he could only score runner-up position in many of the major leagues. But 2023 seems to have started great for him, and with the major victory at EVO 2023 with 10,000 dollars in cash it seems Leffen was able to leave his mark on the fighting game genre.

[Image: guilty_gear_strive-player-leffen-1.jpg]
Figure 3. Leffen EVO 2023

Leffen is truly a skilled player as he is not a one-trick pony, which is due to his efforts to play as many games as he can. But it seems this tendency of his is starting to show signs of stress. As with his return to the Guilty Gear Strive Esporst in November after his win in August, it seems he has somehow lost his edge. While in 2022 he did not perform the best he was able to consistently make the runner-up in those games. Now it seems to be falling to the 7th and 9th place in recent matches. Is this due to him losing interest by already making history, or is his retirement calling? Because we need to keep in mind Leffen has been a pro esports player since the early 2010s, which means he will soon be a decade old as a dedicated pro player. A feat that not many can accomplish, but whether this is the end of this legend or the beginning of his new journey only time will tell.



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