Leffen Calls for controller and Jigglypuff ban after losing to Hungrybox
This weekend saw both Viva la Smash and the Ludwig Invitational take place. Stacked rosters made the final brackets a must-watch. Not everyone left happy though. Leffen is calling for a Jigglypuff ban, along with calling out Smash Boxes, and threatening to quit if nothing changes. A strong reaction to placing third, but do his complaints actually have merit?
He’s no stranger to calling for sweeping changes to Melee, and while most rules are fairly set in stone after 20 years of competition, the recent Yoshi major win proves there’s still room for innovation in Melee though. Leffen would prefer things were tightened up though, and characters get actually banned from competitive events.
Leffen calls for Jigglypuff ban after Ludwig Invitational
After Leffen lost at the Smash Bros Invitational, he called out what he considered some rules that were be to blame. Pretty typical Leffen reaction to loosing, even if a 3rd place finish at one of the most stacked Smash tournaments is still a pretty solid result. Leffen has talked about both Jigglypuff stall tactics, and with a bit more legitimacy controllers.
Jigglypuff is a character which has the ability to stall out a fight. If a player gets ahead as Jiggly, they can stall fairly effectively. Although, this really didn’t seem to come up in the loser’s finals. There Hungrybox played an effective Jigglypuff, and it is difficult to say he was legitimately trying to stall out the game.
I do mean what I said on stream.
If the melee community doesn't fix the controller and stalling ruleset I'll be playing strive/sf6 in 2023 instead of melee, it simply isn't fun at all for me to play against stallers/box users atm. Again, nothing against anyone abusing the rules.
— TSM FTX Leffen (@TSM_Leffen) October 24, 2022
This isn’t the first-time people has criticized Jigglypuff though. Their potential for underhanded tactics is clear, but most players have come to the conclusion that stall tactics are just something a good player should be countering. Making entire characters illegal after this long doesn’t feel like a solution. Especially as more characters are winning majors and opening up what pro level Melee is.
There are more legitimate complaints than a Jigglypuff ban though. Leffen also called out some of the controllers in-use, specifically the Smash Box.
Are Smash Box Controllers Fair?
Smash Box controllers are more controversial than Jigglypuff. This latest call from Leffen is far from the first time they’ve been cited as an unfair advantage. The arcade style control method has remained tournament legal. The Smash Box gives a button-only control scheme which does inherently change the way the game is played, with more physical smashing of the analog sticks.
Controllers are pretty much always a controversial topic in Smash. The Smash Box is a different way to play, but it doesn’t offer anything that other tournament-legal gamepads don’t. Most high-level pros that compete with GameCube controllers are using elite level gamepads. Tournament-legal mods can make tech and other more complicated moves much more consistent and easier, by removing some of the hardware problems that make them inconsistent.
These controllers seem no more unfair than a Smash Box, both work within the confines of Melee tournament-rules, but do offer a bit of an advantage from an off the shelf model. With so many Smash players using these perfected controllers, it isn’t really fair to arbitrarily draw the line at Smash Box.
Leffen’s complaints seem more like salt over a loss than anything else. It’s his first loss to him in a few years. Hugrybox listening to Leffen was even captured on screen:
Is Leffen Leaving Smash?
In true dramatic fashion, Leffen is claiming he’ll leave Smash if organizers don’t change the rules to suit him. This isn’t out of character for him, but Leffen is unlikely to leave Smash full time. Even if he’s annoyed with another player’s choice of character. He is already progressing pretty well in other fighters like Guilty Gear. Between that and new releases like Street Fighter 6, Leffen might just busy for 2023.
Calls for rule change are unlikely to catch on either. Banning an entire character because a player lost to them is unlikely to be fair. The Smash Box question is more legitimate, but it doesn’t really offer any huge advantage over other legal methods, even if it goes against the original spirit of the game. The controller debate isn’t one that most are keen to open back up, especially with how common mods have become.