Hax released a controversial video involving Lefen that has many similarities to a conspiracy theory. Beyond The Summit has banned Hax from the Smash Summit 11 as it does not encourage harassment or threats to other players.
Beyond the Summit has banned Hax from attending Smash Summit 11 after receiving multiple concerns from attendees. The ban comes after Hax posted an extensive and troubling conspiracy theory which he called “evidence.zip 2”.
Hax (aka Aziz Al-Yami) is a notable figure in US East Smash, having attended over 100 tournaments and designed an ergonomic fight stick specifically for Super Smash Brothers: Melee. His activity this week leaned into an ongoing gripe with Leffen (aka William Peter Hjelte), a top Super Smash Brothers: Melee player from Sweden widely known for his history of toxic behavior.
Why did Beyond The Summit ban Hax from Smash Summit 11?
Leffen has himself run into bans as a result of his own engagement in targeted harassment, as documented by Armada (another all-star Smasher from Sweden) in 2013. Hax’s post this week outlines and documents some of Leffen’s past controversies. However, it also reaches beyond a discussion of Leffen’s behavior into the realm of conspiracy.
Hax’s video was over 2 hours long and accompanied by an extensive write-up (itself nearly 200 pages long). The contents were conspiracy-minded, frequently comparing Leffen to Hitler, using language of conspiracy theorists such as “red pill” and asserting that Smash esports are critically endangered by Leffen’s “authoritarian” control over players and press.
The post used dubious application of sources such as Wikipedia summaries and incorrectly applied conclusions drawn from social science abstracts. In PDF form, dozens of pages were devoted to an attempt to prove Leffen as a “ruthless manipulator who will claw [his] way to the top at anyone’s expense,” also stating, “Leffen is basically trying to turn his phone into the Death Note.” Death Note is an anime and manga series in which a book grants the user the supernatural ability to kill anyone whose name is written in its pages.
Later in the content, Hax makes specific claims regarding past harassment from Leffen. He states Leffen once used his seat on a plane to push into Hax and cause the latter weeks of knee pain — but not before claiming that Leffen’s choice of social media avatar was scientific evidence of psychopathy.
Hax banned from attending Smash Summit 11
Beyond the Summit reviewed the video after multiple private reports of concern from attendees. The tournament organizer has now banned Hax from attending Smash Summit 11 in any capacity.
“We take the safety of our Smash Summit 11 players and attendees very seriously and do not condone behavior that encourages harassment or threats toward any of our players or staff”, BTS said.
The decision to ban Hax in the face of harassment has its own context within Beyond the Summit’s history. In 2020, an outpouring of #MeToo activity in esports resulted in a frequent attendee of BTS events, Grandgrant, no longer a part o the professional Dota 2 scene. Grant faced accusations of a pattern of harassment and sexual abuse spanning years at Dota events. The partner of one of his prominent targets directly accusing BTS’s leadership of enabling Grant’s harassment by repeatedly ignoring concerns raised about his behavior.
So far, Hax has not responded publicly to the ban, only stating on Twitter, “Reminder that the other side willfully and maliciously corrupted the press with the intention of brainwashing the community about Evidence.zip.”
Featured Image: BTS Announcement video.