FIFA 21 star Harry ‘Harry’ Hesketh was banned for one FGS event by EA SPORTS over a joke he made to 14-year-old wonderkid Anders Vejrgang on stream. While he disagrees with the ban, he is taking it in his stride, and leaving pro play behind. Since then, Fnatic have confirmed he has been released from the organization.
Hesketh, who has 700,000 subscribers on YouTube, has turned up the ante on content creation across 2020 and 2021. The former pro has been on the up ever since he signed with Fnatic.
However, his pro play career has come crumbling down over one comment he made to Anders Vejrgang during a FUT Champions match.
“I made one distasteful comment right, I said ‘his fingers might be quick, but mine are longer,’ and made a reference to his mother. I know my UK base are going to be like ‘it’s a mom joke’ — don’t defend me. It’s a distasteful comment,” he said back in December.
EA SPORTS have handed him a ban for the FGS Europe Regional Qualifier on February 6. However, instead of coming back after the ban, he’s made up his mind to step back from professional FIFA over claims of double standards.
EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series Penalty Announcement | January 22, 2021.https://t.co/shSZl44Dol
— EA FIFA esports (@EAFIFAesports) January 23, 2021
“It’s in EA’s power to ban you for anything. They can do what they want, when they want. It isn’t a defense, it isn’t me trying to get it overturned,” he said in a January 22 video.
“I got dealt the same severity of ban for a mom joke as racism. That’s just a stone cold fact. If this is the precedent you’re setting for pro players, in the next 24 hours, I could go out and get every single person that’s ever competed in FIFA on the world stage banned,” he then added.
He also apologized to Anders for the comments, although he questioned whether EA were going after him for a personal vendetta.
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“No hate towards Anders. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Please don’t do this. A revelation came to me after the stream. [EA] went to Anders and said ‘do you want an inquest into this stuff that happened on stream’ and they said no, because nothing happened.”
“The thing with EA that disheartens me a bit is the personal relationships. I get along with everyone I’ve met. I have zero personal vendettas against anyone I’ve met. I don’t know where it’s gone wrong, but it’s gone wrong somewhere.”
“I’m announcing my retirement from EA competitive events, effective immediately,” he finished. “This is the biggest risk of my life — if I’m not competing, I’m not competing with a team, so I’m deleting a three-year contract there.”
“My dream was to entertain, to interact with people, and be happy. The amount of messages I get per day…saying how much I’ve helped you all get through the times…that to me tops any trophy. That’s what I want to do, and if 2020 taught me anything, it’s to take risks.”
Upon the release of Harry’s original video, Fnatic’s position was not clear. However, on the morning of January 23, they have officially confirmed that they have “parted ways” with the content creator.
They said: “We have mutually agreed to part ways with Harry Hesketh, to allow him to focus on his own career as a solo content creator.”
Official statement — @HarryHesketh
Fnatic and Harry have mutually agreed to part ways after his retirement from FIFA esports, allowing him to focus on his own career as a solo content creator.
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) January 23, 2021
“Following EA’s statement banning Harry from competing in the upcoming Europe Regional Qualifier, we spoke with Harry about his future as a professional FIFA player,” the statement says. “Harry informed us of his intention to retire as a player, and we agreed it was best for both parties to terminate his contract with the Black and Orange.”
It seems there are no hard feelings, with Harry responding to the tweet to say he will still be cheering Fnatic on.