Popular Street Fighter 5 Competitor Pulled From Major Tournament Amid Domestic Violence Allegations

Infiltration accepts his award for winning Evo Japan from Capcom’s Tomoaki Ayano (Image: Evo)

Seon-woo “Infiltration” Lee, a prominent South Korean Street Fighter 5 player with five Evolution Championship Series titles and countless tournament wins on his resume, will not be competing at this weekend’s Capcom Pro Tour premier event at Tokyo Game Show. His team, Panda Global, announced the decision last night as they investigate claims that Infiltration abused his ex-wife before their divorce.

Infiltration first caught attention in the fighting game community with a surprise third-place finish at Evo 2010. Since then, he has become a household name among fighting game fans, dominating competition in games such as Street Fighter 4, Street Fighter x Tekken, and most recently Street Fighter 5.

His tournament wins were soon followed by sponsorship deals and team signings; organisations such as Mad Catz, Razer and Grapht have supported him before he settled into his new home at Panda Global earlier this year.

As part of this week’s ongoing Tokyo Game Show festivities, players from across the world have travelled to Japan to take part in the country’s Capcom Pro Tour premier event in hopes of earning ranking points towards a spot in the Capcom Cup bracket later this year. Despite already having enough points to qualify, Infiltration was among that number.

This past Wednesday, however, a Reddit user claimed that the South Korean competitor had abused his spouse in September 2017. The couple had divorced later that year.

The allegations were posted to r/LivestreamFail in response to a video featuring Infiltration. “Infiltration is a criminal who beat his ex-wife last year,” the pseudonymous “criminal-seonwoo-lee” claimed, then launched into a series of further allegations that included physical violence, destruction of property, and an eventual arrest.

The account also included purported transcripts of audio recorded by Infiltration’s ex-wife, which, according to third-party translations, describes choking and a variety of threats both on her life and physical well-being. The anonymous source also provided case numbers for two supposed claims involving Infiltration; Kotaku has not been able to independently verify this information.

News of the allegations quickly spread through the fighting game community on social media, with many condemning Infiltration and some even calling for his immediate removal from competition.

Early yesterday, Panda Global tweeted that they were taking the claims against their player seriously and launching a “thorough investigation”, after which they would “take appropriate action” if “the claims are substantiated”.

Last night the team posted a follow-up statement saying that Infiltration would not compete at Tokyo Game Show this weekend.

Speaking with Kotaku, Panda Global CEO Dr Alan Bunney confirmed an update yesterday from criminal-seonwoo-lee stating that allegations “against Infiltration’s character” had been sent to the organisation previously, but Bunney said they were found to be false or were otherwise unable to be authenticated.

“The new information regarding court cases that can be verified was not made available to us before this week,” he explained via email. “These are serious allegations and rest assured we will do our due diligence before taking action.”

Infiltration has not yet responded to Kotaku’s request for comment. He has not addressed the matter on social media since the allegations began to circulate this week, instead posting almost exclusively about his visit to Japan.


Comments

    So guilty before proven innocent? That's what society is now

      Upon saying that, if he did indeed hit his missus the idiot should be castrated. He's a shame to males everywhere

      No. Not at all.

      Take for example when a police officer is accused of something. They are stood down pending an investigation. It's not an accusation of guilt at all.

      This company does not want to be seen supporting someone currently under criminal investigation on the chance charges are laid.

      If this guy is cleared he will be free to return to competition.

      Suffering repercussions from an /investigation/ before a verdict is reached is unfortunate but understandable. First, please understand that official investigations are only made public after clearing a first level of inquiry (which filters most of the fake accusations); a person being publicly investigated for a crime has a decent likelihood of being guilty.

      This means that sponsors, employers, or anybody else who willingly associates with these people after the investigation has been made public is taking a big, unnecessary risk for a person for whose innocence they cannot vouch. They have very little to gain and much to lose. Again, this sucks for somebody wrongly accused, but that's why you can take people to court for libel and slander.

    So if he is found innocent can we expect a follow up article updating us?

      Don't be silly, this is the internet... Just being accused means you're guilty from that day forward.

      People will want to read it, so I think we would get one.

      I really don't expect that we get a followup even if he is guilty. The news here is not the crime, but the disassociation from the gaming circle. In fact, at this point, the highest likelihood of us hearing from this guy again is if he's innocent and he is able to attend future tournaments.

    Dude wtf, this is a criminal matter, it's the police's problem, it shouldn't mean that he can't work because he's been accused of something until he's been found guilty by a jury of his peers.

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