Professional Super Smash Bros. Melee player William “Leffen” Hjelt will not attend EVO this weekend due to visa issues.
The Swedish player is still waiting for a letter of approval from the US embassy, which is taking longer than expected due to him being deported from the US last year. Without this he is unable to enter the country and thus cannot make it to EVO.
Leffen was famously the subject of the free Leffen campaign earlier this year, where a petition, which ended with well over 100,000 signatures and a response from the White House, aimed to not only secure him a visa but also allow all eSports players to receive P1 athlete visas. Leffen’s visa was approved as a result, but is yet to come through.
“I know this comes as a surprise to many, and it did to me as well,” said Leffen. “Words can not describe how much competing means to me, and I’m still trying to process the fact that I’m going to be missing another tournament. I apologize to everyone who wanted to see me compete this weekend, and thanks for everyone who has continued to support me through these rough times. I can’t wait to get back to competing once the visa is fully processed, and it feels good to know that once this is done, I’ll be set for over 2 years.”