Kurt Fenech, the recently banned FIFA pro, has released a video condemning EA’s decision.
The 11-minute video uploaded to YouTube paints EA as thin-skinned and hypocritical with Kurt taking particular umbrage with EA when they brought up his outbursts in the context of the shooting at the Madden tournament in Jacksonville, Florida where a participant returned with a gun killing two players before taking his own life. A tragedy, he said, ” that had zero correlation with my video.”
This all goes back to a video Kurt released on August 30th. EA claims this video broke their rules around harassment, bullying and personal attacks.
Kurt stated that they reached out to him “within 5 minutes” asking him to take it down in light of the Madden tournament and offering him the chance to come to Vancouver, the home of FIFA, to speak to EA directly. Something which he regrets not doing.
Kurt did subsequently take down this video however he released a further 3 videos via YouTube while doing little to tone down his content.
The lines of communication were clearly broken and it came to a head last week. Players in the professional scene were receiving their confirmation emails for the first FUT Champions Cup to be held in November. Kurt had yet to receive his and when he reached out he got word back that EA was considering a competitive ban.
As the week progressed Kurt pushed EA for an answer and answer they did. EA handed down a 2-month ban while stipulating that his conduct during the ban would be monitored. In a partial statement released by Kurt from EA these are the infractions.
“Some of the specific actions that we found in violation of the code of conduct that have led to your suspension, calling other players pussies, using a throat slashing motions[sic], and “waging war on EA” in a week during a time in which the esports community was rocked with horrific tragedy.”
In today’s video Kurt has fired back.
He notes that there are several players who have called others worse who continue to play and in one instance a player who called another a pussy, is now a “EA Gamechanger.”
It doesn’t stop there. He unloads on the entire gamechanger system, accusations of match-fixing and the crux of the issue – an unfair system designed to muffle dissent.
Here is the full video.
EA has yet to publicly respond to this saga.
However, EA has made moves to improve communication this year, the aforementioned “Gamechangers” is just one part of that. They have also introduced “Competitive Player Engagement Managers” to act as a liaison between EA, the developers, and the community as a whole.
In the big picture though – this isn’t just about FIFA, especially for EA. This entire issue increasingly looks to stem from that day Jacksonville. It’s no surprise EA are looking at issues around player conduct more sternly. EA has been named in a lawsuit in relation to that’s days events and ultimately EA has a responsibility to everyone involved in the game to make it a safe place to compete and it’s clear that they are taking that responsibility seriously.
So what do you think of this saga? Is EA trying to safeguard their community? Or do they have a problem with criticism? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.