One of the most controversial personalities in FIFA competitive gaming, Kurt ‘Kurt0411’ Fenech, has announced his retirement from competitive play after EA Sports hit him with a two-month ban for ‘abusive behaviour’.
While the ban isn’t permanent, Kurt would miss a lot of crucial tournaments, making it near-impossible for him to qualify for the eWorld Cup next year.
The Maltese player does not believe his ban is due to his combative online behaviour, but rather his open criticism towards FIFA 19 and EA’s previous titles.
"I have been banned for two months for launching ‘personal attacks’ on people," Kurt tweeted in a lengthy statement. "Now for starters the two months literally ruins my entire season so it might as well be the whole year.
"Now launching ‘personal attacks’ cannot be the real reason because if that was the case they might as well ban everyone. I had the right to voice my opinion even if it means upsetting certain people.
"My time with competitive FIFA is over regardless of what happens but I obviously won’t let them get away with this. I will be seeking legal advice and then proceed from there."
EA Sports responded with a statement of their own which says they are committed to not tolerating any abusive behaviour and Kurt has repeated code of conduct violations.
FIFA's competitive gaming commissioner, Brent Koning, tweeted: "EA has a clear commitment to not tolerating abuse behaviour towards the players and communities around our games, including offensive language, targeted threats or personal harassment.
"That commitment is detailed in the code of conduct for the FIFA 19 Global Series. Due to repeated code of conduct violations, Kurt0411 is suspended from competitive play in the FIFA 19 Global Series.
"These violations include abusive behaviour towards players and others in the FIFA community."
Kurt was surrounded by controversy earlier this year when he got so angry after conceding from kick-off in a major tournament game that he stormed off stage in the middle of the match.
He has been accused by EA Sports of continuously abusing those in the FIFA community. Colin ‘Cojo’ Johnson, manager of esports competitive gaming team Fnatic, was labelled a “bum... who does nothing more than ass lick at every opportunity he gets" by Kurt.
Yet the pro gamer has refused to apologise for his behaviour, claiming: “I’m sure all of this would get resolved by a simple apology from my behalf but quite frankly there is no chance in hell that’s ever going to happen.
"There’s no chance I’m going to take back anything that I have said, I meant everything. Zero regrets, I would do it all again word for word.”
EA states that the codes that Kurt violated are detailed in the code of conduct for the FIFA 19 Global Series. This likely isn’t the end we’ve heard of this saga.