UK FIFA pro player Harry Hesketh has announced his retirement from competitive play after being handed a suspension by the game’s developers, EA.
Harry received a one qualifier suspension, meaning he would have missed the Europe Regional Qualifier on February 6th and 7th 2021.
EA said: “[Harry was] suspended in response to language used during a Twitch broadcast on December 12th 2020, in reference to an opponent’s immediate family member. Due to a prior Final Warning for an Official Rules and Code of Conduct violation, the penalty in this case is escalated to a one qualifier suspension.”
The broadcast in question is this one here, where Harry was matched against young Danish FIFA star Anders Vejrgang and lost to him 13-0. It’s worth noting Harry clearly wasn’t trying during the match, and was in merry spirits in the run-up to Christmas.
Harry explained in the below video: “It’s in EA’s power to ban you for anything. But the only reason for this ban is the mum’s joke I made.
“His manager had told me before that Anders doesn’t read or speak English. So because of the language barrier, after the game my main concern was him not knowing whether I had or hadn’t sent people [to him, to talk about the match afterwards or send him comments], and I said to him that I didn’t send anyone.
“Then we were talking about his reaction and I made one distasteful comment. I said something like ‘his fingers might be quick, but mine are longer’ – and made a reference to his mother. I apologise directly to Anders and his mother. Please do not go after Anders or defend me.”
Fnatic added in a statement: “We have mutually agreed to part ways with Harry Hesketh, to allow him to focus on his own career as a solo content creator.
“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. 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.
“Despite joining Fnatic in challenging times, Harry’s energy and personality has been a huge asset to Fnatic since his signing. We wish him all the best for his career as a content creator.”
Anders, now 15 years old, published this tweet after the comments back in December:
FIFA has a host of popular players and content creators from the UK, including Harry’s former teammate, Tekkz, who is still signed to Fnatic.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.