The state of competitive FIFA 20 was put in the spotlight this weekend after a shambolic series of events made a mockery of FUT Champions Cup Stage IV qualifiers and the very idea of the game being “esport ready”.
Coming in the weeks and days since Donovan “Tekkz” Hunt's outburst at FUT Champions Cup 4 where he said “no one enjoyed playing the game,” and perennial critic Kurt Fenech’s complete ban from all EA games and online services - the latest issues around the competitive environment for FIFA are showing the company to be amateurish and incapable of running such a popular game.
Erhan “DrEhano” Kayman of Werder Bremen esports made a summary of the problems of the weekend that included one set of players being forced to play a game of “rock, paper, scissors” to decide the outcome of the match after poor server performance meant players were unable to connect to matches.
Such a sad weekend for FIFA eSports:— Erhan Kayman (@DrErhano) March 1, 2020
- Match decided by „scissors, stone, paper“
- @GamerLegion‘s @ProhunterFIFA cheats against @V_Herozia - No Ban for him
- @LevyFrederique reaches the K.O. and gets a def loss, because the servers aren‘t accessible for him (not his fault)
The matching featuring, Shaun “Brandsha86” Galea and Hakan “Hasoo” Eker, was won by Hasoo.
FIFA Mistake #87: In the FCC qualifiers, an EA licensed event, pros had to play a game of “rock paper scissors” because they were unable to invite each other to a match. Hard to take this eSport seriously when dealing with situations like this. #FIFA20pic.twitter.com/qCrRb6xCTO— FIFA20Mistakes (@Fifa20Mistakes) March 1, 2020
EA released a statement about this particular incident which led some to wonder why an official EA Sports Competitive Gaming statement was written on the note function on a smartphone.
Man you all had to type this up in Notes as well it really is shambles atm— JAKE BUCKLEY 🇦🇺 (@TheMasterBucks) March 2, 2020
While others felt that with the current state of the game a game of rock paper scissors is perhaps a more exciting prospect than watching FIFA 20.
I think the biggest issue that you have here...— SBC Tips (@sbc_tips) March 2, 2020
Is that rock, paper & scissors would probably be more interesting to watch being streamed, than the game in its current state right now.
Nathan “Herozia” Gil of Team Vitality felt he was cheated out a victory when Marius “Prohunter” Franz of GamerLegion “lost connection” as Herozia was bearing down on goal with just seconds left of the match.
Prohunter disputes this, saying he disconnected but players pointed out that the way the game responds in that situation isn’t what transpired.
I had a dc you can see my player is not moving anymore and the game stops. Btw it was not even a chance so why should I quit anyways— Prohunter (@ProhunterFIFA) February 29, 2020
He lies, when you get DC your player keeps moving forward for 5 seconds before the DC. He ragequitted, cause when you close the game your player is not moving anymore— funtag0 🌟🌟 (@funtag02) February 29, 2020
And Herozia claimed Prohunter has previous for this.
Bro it's ProHunter, he did that so many times, i'm 100% sure he just turn off the console, and you also know it— Nathan Gil (@V_Herozia) February 29, 2020
To conclude the match the two players had a penalty shoot-out that Prohunter subsequently won. Calls for EA to step in and make a statement about this have yet to garner a response.
Giuseppe Guastella of LA Galaxy was also at the mercy of poor servers, seeming to score a penalty which the game considered not a goal and subsequently getting knocked out.
According to responses to this tweet, his opponent "agreed that it was a goal and would replay pens," with another user adding the "entire qualifier discord was begging the admins to simply let them replay a pen shooutout...but there was 'nothing that could be done'".
This particular incident took a bizarre twist when Joe Buscaino, the Los Angeles City Councilmember for the 15th District, tweeted out in support of his constituent.
Even the LA 15th district councilmen thinks this is nonsense. https://t.co/0sJzt1F14n— Giuseppe Guastella (@Guastella11) March 2, 2020
Politicians weren't the only ones looking for answers. Virgin Media also requested EA to get in touch.
It's not clear if a member of staff was having problems playing or they were receiving a lot of queries from their customers.
These issues are just the latest problems to plague a game that has been under fire since its launch.
Players have been vocal about a number of problems in the game ranging from poor server performance, frequent errors in the rewarding of FIFA Ultimate Team cards and growing disquiet over the pay2win nature of the esport.
The card unpacking element of the Ultimate Team has found itself the subject of lawsuits in the Netherlands, Belgium and most recently France - which likened it to a “gambling game”.