Korean “Street Fighter V” player Lee “Infiltration” Seon-woo has voluntarily withdrawn from competing in the pro-circuit following a recent domestic violence charge, according to a former sponsor.
Seon-woo also lost his contract with the sponsor, the esports team Panda Global, which began investigating him after an anonymous Reddit user alleged he was arrested in September 2017 for beating his ex-wife. “Apparently, he had beaten his wife since EVO 2017,” the person claimed. “He blamed his wife for his loss in the tournament and started destroying her stuff and a bunch of electronics, and started beating her. One day, she tried to call police, but Infiltration snatched her phone and choked her to near death and dragged her out of the apartment, but fortunately a neighbor saw him beating his wife and called police.”
Seon-woo voluntarily withdrew from competing, streaming, and social media while Panda Global looked into the claims, the esports team said in a statement on Thursday. The investigation took longer than expected due to several challenges, it said. It needed to hire a certified court translator to transcribe documents from Korean to English. Time zone and scheduling differences made communications with legal counsel in Korea difficult. Also, Panda Global said it wanted to maintain transparency throughout the process, which required extensive legal review. But, it ultimately benched the player and cancelled his flights and lodging after discovering credible evidence substantiating some of the allegations.
Although its findings contradict most of the claims made by the anonymous Reddit user, Panda Global said there is evidence of an altercation between Seon-woo and his ex-wife on Oct. 22, 2017. Seon-woo received something akin to a temporary restraining order and was forced to pay a fine of 700,000 KRW (about $630 USD).
“As a result of this charge, Panda Global has terminated our contract with Infiltration,” the team said.
Seon-woo said he’s innocent in a statement released by Panda Global, but he will withdraw himself from the Capcom Pro Tour for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Meanwhile, “Street Fighter V” publisher Capcom said in its own statement it’s conducting a thorough review of the court documents and other available facts. “While this incident did not happen during a Capcom Pro Tour event, we do not condone any acts of violence or harassment,” it said. “We want to ensure that Capcom Pro Tour provides a safe, inviting environment focused on healthy competition, with an expectation for a baseline code of conduct.”
Capcom also said a second offense will result in a lifetime ban from participating in all future Capcom Pro Tour events.
Seon-woo was ranked No. 11 in the global standings for the 2018 Capcom Pro Tour season. All players below that rank will now move up one position, since Capcom said it considers Seon-woo’s withdrawal the equivalent of a disqualification.