'FIFA' Pro Player Kurt0411 Quits Competitive After Esports Ban

YouTuber and professional FIFA player Kurt "Kurt0411" Fenech has been barred from competing in FIFA esports events for the next two months. According to Fenech, the ban was for "personal attacks" against other players and has lead to the decision to end his competitive career with the game. "I have been banned from competing at the events," a somber Kurt says into his webcam. "They've taken away the one thing, as tough as it can be, that I enjoyed doing."

Fenech has had a long and successful two years as a pro FIFA player. In 2018 the player hailing from Malta reached the top 16 of the FUT Championship Cup in both Barcelona and Manchester, the top eight at the FIFA 18 Global Series and third place in the FIFA eClub World Cup. In Twitter messages to Newsweek, Fenech says he's been playing the soccer simulator professionally for the past two years and describes his FIFA career as "short and sweet."

In those same messages Fenech said that the "harassment" that got him banned by EA was for "insulting those who got this game in the mess it's in right now." He did not receive a warning about being banned from events before receiving the email early this morning. He believes that the Game Changers, a.k.a. EA influencers, that are invited to special events under their community partnership program are "making the game worse year after year." He believes they are ill-equipped "to be giving detailed reviews" on how the game should be fixed and it's one of the reasons he believes FIFA has fallen in quality over the past two years.

The only way for FIFA to be good again, according to Fenech, is for EA to "revamp everything, start from scratch and actually do what the people want. They got the basics like shooting, passing and dribbling" wrong. According to Fenech, FIFA 18/19 "as an, esport is extremely random. You can outplay someone the whole game but it doesn't mean you'll get the win." There was also a kickoff glitch that causes your defenders not to respond after the ball is kicked from the line. During the FIFA eClub World Cup Semi-Finals, Fenech encountered the glitch three times in a row causing him to get frustrated and walk off the set. "At the third one, I had enough and walked off," Fenech says.

In a longer post on Fenech's personal Twitter, he elaborated on why he thinks he was banned."I have been banned... for 'launching personal attacks' on people," the post reads. He feels that the ban isn't because of attacks on others because "then they might as well ban everyone." He claims that there have been other players "wishing cancer upon an opponent as well as threatening each other." He believes that the ban was because he attacked EA's business practices and that the "game right now is unacceptable and has been like that for the last several years." In the post, he says that he will be "seeking legal advice than [sic] proceeding from there."

A video that Fenech took down from his channel in August has been circulating online. Titled "WE ARE AT WAR!!!" Fenech goes on the offensive against EA, FIFA's critics and some of the game's top talent. "Whether you like me or you don't, we have to unite because that's the only way we are going to win this war" Fenech says in the now deleted video. "It's time to find out who is and who isn't on our side. The next minute of the video is dedicated to pictures of FIFA talent and influencers being called "cowards," "washed-up" and demeaning those he thinks are "sucking up to EA."

According to Fenech, EA had asked him to take down the video because it was posted a week after the shooting at a Madden tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. Using "the tragedy as an excuse" for him to take down the video was "sickening" in his eyes because he believes "there's obviously zero correlation" between the two.

Esports consultant Rod "Slasher" Breslau hasn't seen a video of Fenech saying anything racist or sexist (but the player may have deleted other videos from his channel.) If "EA is really going to ban him for this. It definitely feels over the top," Breslau said. If Fenech's claims are correct about being banned for speaking up, Breslau believes the ban is unjust. "Publishers and developers should not expect pro players to be their PR."

EA did not respond by publication time to Newsweek's request for comment.

UPDATE: EA has released a statement on Twitter:

'FIFA' Pro Player Kurt0411 Quits Competitive After Esports Ban | Tech & Science