Controversial Street Fighter Champion Banned From Several Major Tournaments



Screenshot: Evo

South Korean preventing sport player Seon-woo “Infiltration” Lee published closing night that he’s been barred from attending a entire lot of predominant neighborhood events, at the side of this yr’s Evolution Championship Sequence (Evo). Whereas the news came as a shock, quite loads of those mindful of the extremely performed competitor’s controversial previous remember it a truly long time coming.

Evo and Combo Breaker (arguably the 2d essential grassroots match within the preventing sport neighborhood) contacted Lee via electronic mail to utter him he’ll no longer be allowed to compete at their events, in accordance to screenshots Lee posted to Twitter. Each and every emails cited unspecified violations of each tournament’s code of habits insurance policies and supplied refunds for Lee’s registration costs.

Talking with Kotaku, Evo current manager Rick Thiher outlined that the tournament is “dedicated to fostering a stable setting for our gamers and fans” and that the organizers require rivals and attendees to “work along with Evo to maintain a supportive neighborhood that treats one one other with respect and dignity.” This expectation, he persevered, is shared by assorted events like Combo Breaker, Community Effort Orlando, East Flit Throwdown, and the Intercontinental Wrestle Membership, all of which relish also banned Lee.

“Evo will no longer be discussing particular person enforcement choices publicly, nevertheless will be taking mandatory action to uphold our code of habits and construct a welcoming setting at Evo competitions,” Thiher added. “These efforts are main for the system forward for Evo, and the trip we strive and construct for our neighborhood.”

Kotaku contacted Lee as properly, nevertheless did no longer hear abet sooner than newsletter.

“I rightfully judge that it may per chance most likely most likely well be sorted with a correct dialog,” Lee wrote in a Twitlonger message. “I hope the organizers focus on up and expose exactly what the motive for action is that has denied my entry. Also from those organizers, I set a query to a correct apology that has prompted financial and psychological stress of my planning of various abroad trips to secure to these events and reverse their choice of denying my entry.”

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Lee’s assertion also detailed a entire lot of outdated incidents of no longer being allowed to compete in high-profile preventing sport tournaments. What he didn’t construct, unsurprisingly, is secure into the aptitude causes for tournaments no longer wanting him in attendance, of which there are heaps of.

Whereas beforehand unknown, Lee rapidly became a family title within the preventing sport neighborhood attributable to his third-set attain in Avenue Fighter IV: Arcade Version at Evo 2010. He spent the following a entire lot of years earning even more Evo medals and performing properly in various preventing games, at the side of Avenue Fighter x Tekken, Avenue Fighter V, Samurai Shodown, and Responsible Gear Strive. Lee’s match wins were naturally followed by sponsorship offers with companies like Furious Catz, Razer, and Monster Energy.

But abet in 2018, Lee made headlines for assorted causes when he used to be accused of home violence in opposition to his now ex-companion. A apply-up investigation by his sponsor on the time, esports org Panda Global, came across these allegations to be credible and dropped Lee from its roster. Lee also voluntarily stepped a long way from Capcom’s legit Avenue Fighter tournaments for a yr, all the while disputing the abuse claims for which he used to be arrested, came across responsible by a South Korean court docket, and fined.

Lee’s unapologetic return to rivals after a yr away garnered in actuality intensive backlash, severely when Evo itself congratulated him on his “triumphant return” after he acquired Samurai Shodown in 2019. On the time, Evo used to be silent a grassroots operation, nevertheless the match used to be only within the near previous purchased by Sony following the departure of co-founder and CEO Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar over sexual misconduct allegations.

Rather than preserve his nose orderly, nonetheless, Lee persevered to construct complications. Final yr, for occasion, Lee used to be reportedly caught coordinating with associates to defraud a beginner Avenue Fighter V match he organized with Korean streaming set AfreecaTV, his largest sponsor on the time.

Discord screenshots expose Lee encouraging the person that acquired that tournament, a master-stage player in assorted preventing games, to no longer lift his Avenue Fighter V scandalous too high for fear of elevating suspicion. After these minute print were leaked, Lee angrily addressed his accusers via Twitch by calling them “motherfuckers” and “rubbish” who were handiest drawn to tearing him down.

Lee sooner or later apologized, nevertheless no longer sooner than AfreecaTV dropped him as a subsidized streamer.

As for how Lee is taking these bans, he spent his first circulation on Twitch after learning the news arguing that it used to be alright for him to use the n-observe when talking to Shadowy preventing sport gamers. The racist feedback, he outlined later, earned him a seven-day suspension from the streaming platform, nevertheless Lee silent doesn’t judge he did the leisure harmful. As an alternative, he opted to paint the total side as some form of insidious conspiracy in opposition to an innocent man.

“I did a circulation that outlined what befell to me in consequence of Combo Breaker and Evo after which I acquired banned,” Lee told sympathetic viewers for the length of a YouTube livestream early this morning. “Is it staunch a accident? It’s no longer disapprove speech. While you occur to guys ogle my closing circulation, it wasn’t disapprove speech. It wasn’t racism. But folks who disapprove Infiltration, they clip handiest that 2d, and maybe send it to Twitch world.”


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