The ongoing war of words between FIFA creator Kurt ‘Kurt0411’ Fenech and publishers EA Sports has taken another turn, after the fallen pro star took to YouTube “explain everything” and reveal what’s next for his career.
On February 24, fallen FIFA star Kurt was banned from the football video game, as well as all other EA Sports titles, for allegedly leading “threatening personal attacks” against members of the development team over the past few months.
After initially slamming the publishers as “incompetent” — an assessment fellow FIFA creator RunTheFUTMarket all but agreed with days later — the former pro player has taken to YouTube to “explain everything.”
Kurt slams “ridiculous” EA ban as “personal witch hunt”
According to the 25-year-old streaming personality, EA’s “personal witch hunt” against him has reached “ridiculous” levels, and after the permanent ban was revealed earlier this week, he “needs some time off” to cope with it all.
“The reason I am annoyed about these lies EA have released is I have to sit here and explain to my friends and family what happened,” he said in his Feb 26 video. “They make me sound like I murdered someone. This statement is absolutely not okay.”
The problem, Kurt continued, was the statement made it seem like there is no question over his guilt. While EA may have already passed sentence, he believes he has never directed personal attacks towards the company’s employees.
He had called one community manager “a bum” and a “waste of sp*rm” about a week and a half ago, he admitted — an opinion he also said he “still stands by completely” — but he added he would never condone what EA had accused him of.
“How many more of these do I have to do? Ban, ban, ban, the second one this year, one last year… seriously it’s getting ridiculous,” the FIFA star said in the opening moments of his 22-minute response video.
“Funny thing, in the end, is they’ve made more statements about me than the state the game is actually in at the moment. I should be honored, but really that’s just sad.
“For the first time since beginning to make videos though, I will hold my hands up... I have grown exponentially on YouTube and Twitch, more than I could have ever imagined, and that means there’s a difference when I release a video like that.
“As I found out, me saying things like this, unfortunately, resulted in his Twitter account being slammed, attacked, whatever you want to call it, and that’s stuff I absolutely do not want to see, and do not condone.”
What’s next for Kurt after the permanent ban?
Whether he’s guilty or not, however, he’s still banned. Without FIFA, he can’t create stream new content on Twitch, or make YouTube videos. His only option, he said, is time out of the limelight to figure out his next steps.
“I’ll be honest, I need some time off. Not a lot, but it’s not easy, not today. I just need some time,” he said. “I’ll be back. We’ve created something very, very special, something I don’t take for granted. We’ll beat them. We will, but I need some time.”
He also added a heartfelt plea to his fans, after admitted he had realized just how powerful his words and reach could really be: “do not fight my battles for me.”
“I only just realized the effect that I’ve started having on people, and it was a bit of an ‘oh my god’ moment. I don’t want anyone going out of their way defending me, or making videos saying they should unban me,” he said.
According to him, doing that would only be fruitless. “Either they don’t unban me, and nothing happens and they ignore you, or they start banning you guys too, so, thank you, but don’t fight my battles for me. Leave it up to me.”
For mobile readers, the related segment begins at 16:45 in the video below.
Why Kurt will always return to FIFA, if he's allowed
Kurt may be taking some time away from his fanbase, video content creation, and of course a non-optional break from the FIFA franchise, but the long-term player and self-confessed fan also admitted he will “never stop playing.”
“People ask, why don’t you stop playing the game if you don’t like it so much… Fortnite sh*ts the bed, you get Apex or PUBG. With sports games, this is the sport we love, so we want to play the game that represents that,” he explained.
The banned star likened it to telling a Manchester United supporter to simply “stop watching” the twenty-time English top-flight champions because they “aren’t a fan of the Glazers,” and added that would be “stupid.”
“That’s their passion. That’s what they love, so why should they stop watching? FIFA gave their license to EA, therefore EA holds the responsibility to give us football fans a good game. Unfortunately, there is no competition.”
At this stage, however, whether FIFA is his passion and career or not, he has no way back into the football simulation title, or any EA release for that matter, and that doesn’t look like it will change for the foreseeable future.
There’s always hope for Kurt though. League of Legends’ most notorious streamer, Tyler ‘Tyler1’ Steinkamp, was permanently banned from Riot’s franchise. On January 3 2018, 613 days later, he returned to the MOBA title.
However, Steinkamp’s suspension in the fantasy title was due to repeated in-game toxicity, rather than a personal feud with the publishers themselves so, unfortunately, there’s no telling if the same redemption arc will eventually play out for Kurt.