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Sweden’s William “Leffen” Hjelte won the European Guilty Gear Strive bracket at Evo 2021 Online on Sunday. He did so without dropping a set, extending his undefeated streak in Arc System Works’ latest fighting game.

Prior to Evo, Leffen had entered three Guilty Gear Strive tournaments, placing first at all of them. No one could muster a win against him at Awakening the Gear: 2nd Crusade, SaltyEU Guilty Gear Strive #4 or The Big Levo 2.

Piloting the glass cannon Chipp Zanuff, Leffen won sets against many of Europe’s best Strive players at these events. Among them were “AnBi,” “Zeno,” Keanu “kurokich” Uzumaki, Alain “Space” Balemba, “Ekodge” and Cem “KenDeep” Anar.

Since he has only entered region-locked online brackets, Leffen has yet to test himself against non-European players in a tournament setting. However, he performed phenomenally in a 10-versus-10 crew battle between Europe and players from the east coast of the United States, which Europe won. Leffen defeated Victor “Punk” Woodley, Preston “Ferno” Ferrer and Shamar “Nitro” Hinds without losing a set.

Leffen’s Guilty Gear Strive run at Evo 2021

Leffen had many complaints with how Evo 2021’s European Guilty Gear Strive tournament ran. In typical Evo fashion, the entire bracket was best-of-three until top eight. This created large gaps in the schedule with little play time, even though the majority of sets happened off stream. In addition, Leffen was seeded 13th despite being undefeated against Europe going into the tournament.

Nevertheless, Leffen added another flawless run to his resume at Evo 2021. In the process, he won sets over the likes of Oisin “Zoggere” McNamara and KenDeep. Leffen also beat “Uriel Legion” in both winners finals and grand finals.

Guilty Gear Strive is only the latest fighting game that Leffen has become a dominant force in. While he is best-known as one of the greatest Super Smash Bros. Melee players in the world, he has also found success in games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Dragon Ball FighterZ.


Dylan Tate is a student in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, particularly Super Smash Bros. and Pokémon.


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