HomeMobileEvo Bans Controversial Street Fighter Champion Infiltration

Evo Bans Controversial Street Fighter Champion Infiltration

Seon-woo "Infiltration" Lee stands in front of a microphone and glances at something off-screen.

Screenshot: Evo

South Korean preventing recreation participant Seon-woo “Infiltration” Lee revealed final night time that he’s been barred from attending a number of main group occasions, together with this yr’s Evolution Championship Collection (Evo). Whereas the information got here as a shock, lots of these aware of the extremely achieved competitor’s controversial previous take into account it a very long time coming.

Evo and Combo Breaker (arguably the second most vital grassroots event within the preventing recreation group) contacted Lee through electronic mail to tell him he is not going to be allowed to compete at their occasions, in keeping with screenshots Lee posted to Twitter. Each emails cited unspecified violations of every occasion’s code of conduct insurance policies and supplied refunds for Lee’s registration charges.

Talking with Kotaku, Evo basic supervisor Rick Thiher defined that the occasion is “dedicated to fostering a protected atmosphere for our gamers and followers” and that the organizers require opponents and attendees to “work along with Evo to construct a supportive group that treats each other with respect and dignity.” This expectation, he continued, is shared by different occasions like Combo Breaker, Group Effort Orlando, East Coast Throwdown, and the Intercontinental Struggle Membership, all of which have additionally banned Lee.

“Evo is not going to be discussing particular person enforcement choices publicly, however might be taking crucial motion to uphold our code of conduct and create a welcoming atmosphere at Evo competitions,” Thiher added. “These efforts are important for the way forward for Evo, and the expertise we attempt to create for our group.”

Kotaku contacted Lee as properly, however didn’t hear again earlier than publication.

“I rightfully imagine that it may be sorted with a correct dialog,” Lee wrote in a Twitlonger message. “I hope the organizers communicate up and clarify precisely what the reason for motion is that has denied my entry. Additionally from these organizers, I demand a correct apology that has brought about monetary and psychological stress of my planning of varied abroad journeys to get to those occasions and reverse their resolution of denying my entry.”

Lee’s assertion additionally detailed a number of earlier incidents of not being allowed to compete in high-profile preventing recreation tournaments. What he didn’t do, unsurprisingly, is get into the potential causes for tournaments not wanting him in attendance, of which there are numerous.

Whereas beforehand unknown, Lee shortly grew to become a family identify within the preventing recreation group because of his third-place end in Road Fighter IV: Arcade Version at Evo 2010. He spent the following a number of years incomes much more Evo medals and performing properly in numerous preventing video games, together with Road Fighter x Tekken, Road Fighter V, Samurai Shodown, and Responsible Gear Attempt. Lee’s event wins have been naturally adopted by sponsorship offers with companies like Mad Catz, Razer, and Monster Power.

However again in 2018, Lee made headlines for various causes when he was accused of home violence in opposition to his now ex-wife. A follow-up investigation by his sponsor on the time, esports org Panda International, discovered these allegations to be credible and dropped Lee from its roster. Lee additionally voluntarily stepped away from Capcom’s official Road Fighter tournaments for a yr, all of the whereas disputing the abuse claims for which he was arrested, discovered responsible by a South Korean court docket, and fined.

Lee’s unapologetic return to competitors after a yr away garnered appreciable backlash, particularly when Evo itself congratulated him on his “triumphant return” after he gained Samurai Shodown in 2019. On the time, Evo was nonetheless a grassroots operation, however the event was not too long ago bought by Sony following the departure of co-founder and CEO Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar over sexual misconduct allegations.

Slightly than hold his nostril clear, nevertheless, Lee continued to create issues. Final yr, as an illustration, Lee was reportedly caught coordinating with associates to defraud a newbie Road Fighter V event he organized with Korean streaming web site AfreecaTV, his largest sponsor on the time.

Discord screenshots present Lee encouraging the one who gained that occasion, a master-level participant in different preventing video games, to not elevate his Road Fighter V rank too excessive for worry of elevating suspicion. After these particulars have been leaked, Lee angrily addressed his accusers through Twitch by calling them “motherfuckers” and “rubbish” who have been solely all in favour of tearing him down.

Lee finally apologized, however not earlier than AfreecaTV dropped him as a sponsored streamer.

As for a way Lee is taking these bans, he spent his first stream on Twitch after studying the information arguing that it was alright for him to use the n-word when chatting with Black preventing recreation gamers. The racist feedback, he defined later, earned him a seven-day suspension from the streaming platform, however Lee nonetheless doesn’t imagine he did something fallacious. As a substitute, he opted to color the entire thing as some kind of insidious conspiracy in opposition to an harmless man.

“I did a stream that defined what occurred to me due to Combo Breaker and Evo after which I obtained banned,” Lee advised sympathetic viewers throughout a YouTube livestream early this morning. “Is it only a coincidence? It’s not hate speech. When you guys watch my final stream, it wasn’t hate speech. It wasn’t racism. However individuals who hate Infiltration, they clip solely that second, and perhaps ship it to Twitch international.”


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