Super Smash Bros. Melee pro Aziz “Hax$” Al-Yami has issued an apology to William “Leffen” Hjelte and the entire Melee community after months of drama.
In June 2021, Hax$ uploaded a two-hour-long YouTube video that discussed how Leffen was manipulating and damaging the Melee community. In the video, Hax$ called Leffen "manipulative" and "evil." At one point, he even compared Leffen to Hitler, explaining that Leffen wants full control of the Melee community.
“Beefing with Leffen will cause you to be at war for the rest of your life. So they give up. Leffen gets his way and the cycle of abuse continues,” Hax$ said in the since-deleted video. “Leffen is a disease that can be expected to fully erode the Smash community.”
On Twitter, Leffen responded by saying he was concerned for his safety. He even contemplated suing Hax$. The community was torn, with half of Smash players agreeing that Leffen is a bully that is toxic to the game and the other half calling Hax$ "unwell" and "unhinged."
The video caused Hax$ to be banned from multiple Melee tournaments due to Leffen and others feeling threatened. Hax$ stayed silent after the drama. Until now.
Hax$ apologizes to Melee community for "unhinged" Leffen video
On September 24, Hax$ posted a short apology to YouTube. In the video, Hax$ "sincerely apologized" for the video, claiming it was the result of a personal feud being "overblown."
Said Hax$: "I turned this into the community's problem. I'd like to especially apologize to fans and spectators who were surely caught off guard and stressed out that I made people choose between one side or the other. This was inconsiderate of me in retrospect and I've taken the time to reflect on the fact that I took this whole thing way too far."
Hax$ stated that his actions were "out of character," not that he wanted to defend the video. He explained that it resulted from a long-time beef with Leffen that started when the two Melee veterans were teens. But he was brought over the edge after the Metagame documentary was launched.
According to Hax$, he got into an argument with Leffen the night it aired. Leffen apparently wanted the documentary revised and Hax$ didn't. Leffen ended up getting his way.
"From there, I went down this path of taking things way too far," Hax$ recalled. "So far, in fact, that I need to apologize to Leffen about some things I said to him along the way because they were uncalled for."
Hax$ finished the video by saying he won't "project" on other people anymore and will be working on himself to become a better community member.
"Sorry to put a damper on things," Hax$ said.
Melee community reacts to Hax$ apology to Leffen
The Super Smash Bros. community had a surprising response to Hax$'s apology. Some felt that Leffen had manipulated the community so well that it had forced Hax$ to take back his initial video or risk being canceled. And Leffen did it all without saying or doing a single thing.
Said one fan: "Leffen's a nasty dude, but based on my experience with gaming sponsors, I think he's going to leave the issue alone. Not out of a sense of decency, but because sponsorship comes with a great deal of constraints as far as public behavior. Plus Leffen has so much advantage in the beef that he gets what he wants by just doing nothing."
But most of the Melee community responded exactly as expected: Memeing the situation.
"Surely Leffen will use this sign of weakness as a chance to attack and continue to rewrite history as we know it today," one Melee player said.
Either way, the Melee community basically concluded that the Smash community is the worst gaming fanbase of all time.
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