Sebastian Jimenez

Sponsor of former Street Fighter V Drops champion in view of domestic abuse allegations

Lee "Infiltration" Seon-woo has been banned from competing in Capcom's Street Fighter V professional circuit, and his contract with sponsor Panda Global has ended, in light of a recent charge of domestic violence.

The problem came to light for the first time in September, when a former Reddit user claimed that Seon-woo had been assaulting his ex-wife since September of last year, after his loss in the Evo tournament that year. They said Seon-woo "blamed his wife for his loss in the tournament," and destroyed his property and attacked her. "One day she tried to call the police, but the Infiltration snatched her phone, strangle and dragged her out of the apartment, but fortunately the neighbor saw him hit his wife and called the police," the user said.

Based on the accusations, Panda Global began investigating Seon-woo, while according to the sponsor, Seon-woo "voluntarily withdrew from competition, broadcast and social networks" during the investigation, including an exhibition in Tokyo Game Show this year. scheduled for that weekend. "(Seon-woo) argues that the accusations against him are false and that he is innocent of assault," the company said.

Then, the company worked with Capcom to investigate and verify the charges (you can find a schedule for both the incident and the Panda Global investigation comparing the accusations made by the Reddit user and what Panda Global found here). The investigation slowed down due to "the complexities of the Korean legal system, including access to any judicial document, along with an important national holiday in that country and the translation deadlines," according to Capcom's own statement on the matter. Today Panda Global released a statement that summarizes its findings.

Although they were unable to confirm some of the specific charges made by the Reddit user, they found an "altercation" incident that took place on October 22 last year. According to the summary of Panda Global's investigation, Seon-woo was accused of "violence" after his ex-wife obtained a medical note stating that he had suffered "bruises and a grimace without hospitalization necessary." As a result of this incident (Seon-woo) We receive what we understand as a temporary restraining order. (in Korea), "and paid a fine equivalent to $ 630 for" violence. "Panda Global points this out at the" lower end of the punishment range "and declares that the maximum fine will be equivalent to $ 4,500.

As for the destruction of property, Panda Global reports that Seon-woo informed his ex-wife that he and his mother would visit their shared home to collect their personal belongings. When he arrived, he found that the access code to the lock had been changed. Seon-woo says he "consulted the police and was informed that he had the right to enter his house and hire a locksmith to open the lock." After Seon-woo had a locksmith break the lock, his ex-wife accused him of property damage and won the case, and imposed a fine of $ 300 on Seon-woo.

As a result of its investigation, Panda Global terminated its contract with Seon-woo, who currently occupies the 11th position in the Capcom Pro Tour leaderboard, has decided to voluntarily withdraw from Capcom Pro Tour for the rest of the year and until 2019. .

According to Capcom, "a second offense will result in a lifelong ban on participating in all future events of the Capcom Pro Tour." As for the tournament itself, "all players in the global leaderboard below this rank will ascend one position, since we are considering that their withdrawal amounts to a disqualification," Capcom said.

In His own statement released by Panda Global., Seon-woo declares that he is innocent and that "after Panda has released (this statement), I will explain everything later."

We have contacted Capcom for any additional statements regarding the matter and will update this story in case they respond.

A "voluntary" pause of one year of the circuit feels like a punishment too light here. If Capcom wants to make sure that competitors and spectators feel safe in the events that Capcom sponsors for the Pro Tour, it cannot show leniency when it comes to issues like this. It is also curious that they mention that Seon-woo voluntarily retired from the competition, but does not make a definitive statement about what they would have done if he had refused to do so.

It should also be borne in mind that while Capcom runs its own circuit, the competitive Street Fighter V scene is not fully controlled by Capcom. It is probably up to the organizers of the individual tournaments to determine if they want to ban or allow Seon-woo in their tournaments, even if they do not compete in the Pro Tour events. However, the association between these organizers adds some pressure.