Kurt Fenech, one of the worlds best FIFA players, has been banned from competitive events by EA sports.
The source is Kurt himself who posted a video on his YouTube stating that he had received an email from EA saying he was no longer allowed to compete. He went further than that saying that all players have been warned if they speak out about the game they are at risk of being banned themselves.
Kurt is a controversial player in the FIFA pro scene. He blew up last year when he “rage-quit” during a the eClub World Cup and from then has built a reputation as the guy who says what others are thinking. His YouTube videos frequently take aim at fellow pros, who he often characterizes as “yes men,” as well as swipes at the game and its developers. His outspoken and frank way of speaking has clearly made him few friends and put important people’s nose out of joint.
When Kurt wasn’t blasting the game, he was turning up big time at tournaments where his outspoken nature was a breath of fresh air in the rather workmanlike atmosphere of top-tier competition. Last year he reached the final of the eClub World Cup and finished top goalscorer at the FIFA eWorld Cup reaching the semi-final where he lost to eventual winner, Msdossary.
The release of FIFA 19 did little to please Kurt who took to YouTube to state he, “wasn’t enjoying playing it[…] they made a shit game.” The criticism ranged from slow gameplay, a myriad of bugs and a development team that cared little for the professional scene.
In recent weeks, Kurt’s Twitter has been a nonstop barrage of negativity towards a game and community he is deeply invested in. The line between banter, trash talking and toxicity will be different for everyone but it wouldn’t be hard for someone to point to examples of where that line has been crossed, and if it’s true that he has been banned for “harassment” EA may well have grounds to do so.
The writing may have well been on the wall for a while now. A telling moment came in a recent video where he stated, “I am sure I am blacklisted from their company,” and while this was in relation to poor performing cards in a pack opening its clear even he felt his relationship with EA was not in a good place.
It wasn’t just EA that were in Kurt’s sights. Gfinity, a tournament organizer, were deemed an “outright scam.”
With no official statement from EA Sports, we can only go on what Kurt has said, “I never expected them to stoop this low, I’ve never broken any rules[…] I’m sure all of this would get resolved with a simple apology from my behalf, but quite frankly there is no chance in hell that’s ever gonna happen, there’s no chance I am going to take back anything I said, zero regrets, I would do it all over again, word for word.”
It’s early days but professionals have come out to defend Kurt with Harry Hesketh of Hashtag United stating he, “didn’t deserve a ban in the slightest, absolute joke.” Others are keeping their cards a little closer to their chest with Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing simply posting this –
— Spencer (@Huge_Gorilla26) October 19, 2018
Kurt has now released a full statement. He has been banned for 2 months, which he points out effectively rules him out for the season. The reasons given to him were for bullying and harassment a charge which he disputes. Furthermore, he states he will never play FIFA competitively again and plans to seek legal advice. EA Sports are expected to release their own statement in the coming hours.
— Kurt (@Kurt0411Fifa) October 19, 2018
I doubt this will be the last we hear of Kurt.
So what do you make of Kurt’s ban? Is it justified? Will he return? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.