Evo bans controversial street fighter hero from infiltration

Seon Woo "Leak" Lee stands in front of the microphone and looks at something off the screen.

screenshot: Evo

South Korean fighting gamer Seon-woo “Infiltration” Lee revealed last night that he has been banned from several major community events, including this year’s Evolution Championship Series (Evo). While the news came as a shock, many prominent competitors Controversial past Consider that a long time coming.

Evo and Combo Breaker (arguably the second most popular tournament in the fighting game community) contacted Lee via email to inform him that he would not be allowed to compete in their events, according to Post my screenshots on Twitter. The two emails cited unspecified violations of each event’s Code of Conduct policies and offered refunds for Lee’s registration fees.

talk with KotakuRick Theher, general manager of Evo, explained that the event is “committed to promoting a safe environment for our players and fans” and that organizers are asking competitors and attendees to “work alongside Evo to build a supportive community that treats each other with respect and dignity.” He went on to say that this expectation was shared by other events such as Combo Breaker, Community Effort Orlando, East Coast Throwdown and Intercontinental Fight Club, all of which also banned Lee.

“Ifo will not publicly discuss individual enforcement decisions, but will take the necessary actions to support our code of conduct and create a welcoming environment in the Ifo competitions,” Theher added. “These efforts are vital to the future of Evo, and the experience we strive to create for our community.”

Kotaku I reached out to Lee as well, but didn’t get a response before posting.

Lee wrote: “I truly believe it can be sorted out by proper conversation.” Twitlonger message. “I hope the organizers will speak up and explain exactly the reason for the action that prevented me from entering. Also from these organizers, I request a proper apology for causing financial and mental stress from my planning various overseas trips to reach these events and to undo their decision to deny me entry.”

Lee’s statement also detailed several previous incidents of not being allowed to compete in high-profile fighting game tournaments. What he didn’t do, unsurprisingly, is get into the potential reasons for tournaments not wanting him in attendance, of which there are many.

While previously unknown, Lee quickly became a household name in the fighting game community thanks to his third-place finish in Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition at Evo 2010. He spent the next several years earning even more Evo medals and performing well in various fighting games, including Street Fighter x Tekken, Street Fighter V, Samurai Shodown, and Guilty Gear Strive. Lee’s tournament wins were naturally followed by sponsorship deals with businesses like Mad Catz, Razer, and Monster Energy.

But back in 2018, Lee made headlines for different reasons when he was accused of domestic violence Against his now ex-wife. a Follow up investigation By his sponsor at the time, esports org Panda Global, he found these claims credible and dropped Lee from their list. Lee also voluntarily distanced himself from the Capcom official Street Fighter Championships for a year, while challenging allegations of abuse for which he was arrested, convicted by a South Korean court, and fined.

Lee’s unexcused return to competition after a year of absence was met with a backlash, especially when Evo himself congratulated him on “victorious returnafter winning Samurai Shodown In 2019. At that time, Evo was still a popular process, but the championship was so Recently purchased by Sony Following the passing of Co-Founder and CEO Joey “Mr. Magician” Cuellar over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Instead of keeping his nose clean, Lee kept creating problems. Last year, for example, I had It is said cEven coordination with friends To defraud a newbie Street Fighter V The tournament he organized with Korean broadcasting site AfreecaTV, his largest sponsor at the time.

Discord screenshots show that Lee is encouraging the person who won this event, a master-level player in other fighting games, not to raise their abilities. Street Fighter V Rank too high for fear of arousing suspicion. After these details were leaked, Lee angrily addressed his accusers via Twitch by calling them “fucks” and “trash” who were only interested in tearing him up.

He eventually apologized to me, but not before AfreecaTV dropped him as a sponsored operator.

As for how Lee took this ban, he spent his first broadcast on Twitch after he found out about the news arguing that it was okay for him use the word n When talking to black fighting game players. racist comments, explain later, earned him a seven-day suspension from the streaming platform, but Lee still didn’t think he had done anything wrong. Instead, he chose to paint the whole thing as some sort of malicious plot against an innocent man.

“I did a broadcast that explained what happened to me because of Combo Breaker and Evo and then I got banned,” Lee told sympathetic viewers during a YouTube Live early this morning. “Is it just a coincidence? It’s not hate speech. If you watched my last broadcast, it wouldn’t be pure hate speech. It wasn’t racist. But people who hate sneaking around are just filming that moment, and maybe sending it to Twitch Global.”


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