Recently, rumors arose of Korean Street Fighter and EVO champion Seonwoo “Infiltration” Lee abusing his wife. In the days since, Panda Global has launched an investigation into their star player’s alleged domestic abuse. They are removing him from a planned appearance for competition at Tokyo Game Show 2018. Though the investigation is still underway, it could mean disaster for one of the most prominent champions of the fighting game community if the allegations turn out to be true.
The rumors began to surface on September 18, 2018 on Reddit via various threads. In a thread originally posted on the Livestream Fail Subreddit, the user criminal-seonwoo-lee posted a rather chilling account. The post described how Infiltration may have abused his then-wife beginning in 2017 following his loss at the Street Fighter tournament at EVO 2017. There is claim that these incidents were the basis for a following divorce. The allegations came with transcripts of a supposed audio recording of the event, although the recording transcript is in Korean and doesn’t bare any official markings which makes it difficult to tell if they are legitimate.
Regardless, the story gained enough traction that Infiltration’s team, Panda Global, was forced to take action. They launched their own investigation into the legitimacy of the rumors on September 20, 2018.
We are taking the claims against Infiltration’s alleged domestic violence seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation into these claims. If the claims are substantiated we will take appropriate action.
— Panda Global (@PandaGlobal) September 20, 2018
A further accusation claims that Infiltration had been sponsored for Street Fighter V competition by Razer and committed fraud when doing so. However, Razer Brand Consultant Mark “Markman” Julio was quick to shut down the rumor. Markman claimed with some certainty that Infiltration did not commit said fraud while sponsored by Razer.
It remains to be seen what will turn up as the investigation proceeds, but many in the community seems to have their minds made up. Fellow Korean Street Fighter players Sim “NL” Gun of UYU and Hyungsuk “Verloren” Kong of FURSAN recently shared their own thoughts on Infiltration’s current situation, as posted in an ongoing thread on ResetEra.“I was only aware of the divorce and nothing more,” claims NL. “I think the correct course of action is to wait for [Panda Global]’s announcement. If true, then I believe [Infiltration] should be sentenced.”
“The two of us aren’t close and what I knew as a simple rumor is a little dangerous for me to bring up, so I didn’t pay attention to it,” added Verloren. “If you [think I’m] trying to cover it up, I don’t know what to say. May the person who committed a crime be punished…”
As for the domestic abuse allegations, Panda Global has since followed up since their original statement. Infiltration was set to compete in Street Fighter V at the Tokyo Game Show this year, but has been pulled from the event as the investigation remains underway.
With the ongoing investigation, Infiltration will not be competing at TGS this weekend https://t.co/qujAQU4Ztx
— Panda Global (@PandaGlobal) September 21, 2018
Whatever the truth, and with certain records supposedly out there, we will be waiting on what Panda Global decides. It’s difficult to sort through what’s true and what’s not from some very obviously biased accounts, but if Infiltration did indeed do what the rumors are saying, it may very well be the end of the stardom for one of the most notable Street Fighter players of all time. We’ll have more on this story as information emerges.
TJ Denzer is a video game journalist and Co-Editor-in-Chief at Daily Esports with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he’s not entrenched in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his wife, he’s putting time into local beer breweries and searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people.