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Cast your mind back to November 2019. You might remember the story of YouTuber Kurt 'Kurt0411' Fenech, and his... clash with EA. The pro FIFA player and infamous YouTuber found himself indefinitely banned from participating in any and all FIFA 20 events by EA following a particularly foul-mouthed tirade against the publisher during a livestream.
"Son of a b****," he said in the video, which you see below. "You can't beat me, even on this piece of trash game. F*** you, EA." He then picked up a scarf with the publisher's logo on it, and spat on it, which I don't think went down brilliantly with EA.
This is the VOD that Kurt got banned for, I am all for freedom of speech but this is disgusting behaviour. How are you going to spit on the logo of a company that you want to be a professional esports athlete for. I know I am going to get stick for this but he deserves the ban. pic.twitter.com/oJmlifBFLU
- DrJarba (@JarbaFifa) November 1, 2019
This wasn't actually Fenech's first offense, either. The player earned himself a few bans from EA previously, including one in October 2018, and another in March 2019. That March ban even came with a 'Final Warning' for frequent infringements of EA's Code of Conduct.
"Kurt0411 had many chances and we were explicit that each subsequent violation would result in escalated penalties," EA wrote in a statement at the time. "The above violations go beyond acceptable 'smack talk' as the consistent harassment targeting fellow players, EA employees, and a previous on-air talent during the live broadcast, are unacceptable."
The punishment at the time was to be "disqualification from all EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series competition and any future events," but it seems EA has had quite enough of Fenech once and for all. In a statement released earlier today, EA has now confirmed that Fenech is outright banned from all EA games and online services due to "serious and repeated violations".
An Important message regarding FIFA player Kurt0411. pic.twitter.com/RcHu1hMCup
- Electronic Arts (@EA) February 24, 2020
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The statement, which EA put out on Twitter, made references to Fenech's previous offenses. In the days following that final ban back in November last year, a number of EA employees' Twitter accounts were hacked, while FIFA support staff noted they were taking a lot of abuse because of the decision.
EA said in its statement that Fenech has "continued to post abusive and threatening messages and videos about EA employees and competitive players on social media, and he has encouraged others to do the same. His messages have crossed a line of decency into very personal attacks."
In response to EA's decision, Fenech took to Twitter to allege that not all is what it seems with this latest ban. "I have never said anything I shouldn't have," he wrote. "This is just deeper than anyone thinks. They didn't want me competing at events cos they were scared I'd win them."
End of the day I have never said anything I shouldn't have. This is just deeper than anyone thinks. They didn't want me competing at events cos they were scared I'd win them, now I'm the 2nd biggest streamer of their game and they're scared I'll overtake their golden boy
- Kurt (@Kurt0411Fifa) February 24, 2020
The news of Fenech's banning has once again split the FIFA community. Some are arguing that the player is an "asset" to the community, while others have pointed out that the player was given multiple chances to improve his behaviour, and continued to ignore those warnings.
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