It would be hard to argue that Leffen had anything other than an excellent 2015. With wins at B.E.A.S.T. 5, CEO 2015, Super Smash Con, and HTC Throwdown, he’s become an unstoppable force in Melee, and is currently ranked 3rd according to the Melee It On Me Top 100.
For most people, that’s a pretty good year. But not for Leffen.
Man With a Plan
In 2016, Leffen has a simple goal; to be “by far the best Smash player in the world,” he says. But the execution of that goal is a little more nuanced. In order to be the best, Leffen wants to be as prepared as he can be, inside the game and out.
“Simple goals are in there, such as ‘learn as much as possible at the regional next weekend,’ or ‘win BEAST 6,’ but those types of goals are very short term and result focused,” Leffen says. “While necessary to a degree, I think l focused too much on these last year and I ended up tunnel vision-ing on winning more tournaments, which later resulted in me getting pretty burned out.”
So instead of simply practicing harder, Leffen is approaching Melee from a new perspective, re-imagining his training regimen in order to stay on top of his game all year long. He plans to start by taking better care of his body. “After getting some time off due to the lack of a visa, I started swimming a couple times a week and it's really done wonders for me; although it will be very hard to keep up while traveling a lot it's very high on my priority list. Eating healthier is also especially hard at tournaments, but with how often they happen it's starting to become a necessity if I want to keep playing for years to come.”
Leffen’s practice strategy is changing as well. Instead of the long pre-major practice sessions of 2015, he’s looking to find a more consistent schedule that keeps him motivated and healthy. “[I want to limit] myself from over-practicing to prevent exhausting myself before the tournaments even started. I will also be putting more focus into winning the absolute biggest tournaments rather than trying to attend every decently sized one to really make sure I don't burn out.”
Support Is Everything
While Leffen may have a lot of big changes planned for his 2016, he won’t be taking them on alone. His support system will be there with him every step of the way. Team SoloMid is excited to continue working with Leffen, ramping up every facet of his presence in the esports scene. TSM's owner, Andy Dinh, has big plans for Leffen in 2016. “This is a big year for Leffen. The projects we’ve been discussing with Red Bull and the resources being offered are going to go a long way. Fresh content, increased training, and development are just the start.”
Leffen is just as excited about the new partnerships formed, and is ready to put all of the new tools available to him to use. “Being a Red Bull athlete means a lot to me. It’s a form of individual support. It means that I will still be playing under Team SoloMid but I also receive increased financial and practical support. The main difference is in the execution of it. Red Bull has been very open to any suggestions I have, and they really focus on making sure that we can work together in the way that I'd like. 2016 is going to be full of great content and better play from me.”
With extra support in his corner, Leffen is ready to take on the world. But he couldn’t have done it without his fans. “I really appreciate all the fans that have stuck through the recent rough couple months. I don't say it often enough, but it's really thanks to all you guys that I've managed to make it this far.
“I'll make sure to properly thank you all by showing you all some incredible Melee throughout 2016 and beyond!”
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