Earlier this month, rising UK FIFA player Conkai was hit with a year-long ban from the game.
The 19-year-old, who plays for Serious About FIFA (SAF), was told by EA that his game account failed to pass a routine security scan.
This failure in the vetting process meant he lost his slot in the eLions Eliminator tournament as well as the ePremier League 2020/21 Club Playoffs.
Conkai said in a Twitlonger post: “I’ve been banned from competing for 365 days which has resulted in much anger and confusion, as I know I have done nothing wrong.
“The obvious incident was the Gullit snipe at the start of November which of course looks very suspect, but it’s not an isolated incident, there have been many snipes like this throughout every year of FIFA, but this time I was on the lucky end of it.
“I have never bought coins or a bot, and have spent a lot of time and money on FIFA 21 to be where I am today. The start to this year has been better than I ever could have imagined – and to have all this hard work taken away from me without any real proof or communication left me in tears.”
The ‘Gullit snipe’ Conkai refers to is where he managed to buy the Ruud Gullit Legend card in FIFA Ultimate Team last November, for cheaper than it’s usually worth, using the game’s mobile app.
In this instance it looks like another player had placed it on the in-game market for a lower price by accident, and Conkai managed to nab it quickly.
It appears that EA may believe a bot may have been used, because sniping itself is not against the rules (and is actually commonplace in other games that use action systems, like World of Warcraft), but using a sniping bot or other illegal program is.
Conkai’s organisation, SAF Global Gaming, who recently partnered with Revolution Esports to develop UK FIFA esports talent, posted this message from Daniel Davis, ePremier League competition lead and esports operations manager at Gfinity (which operates the ePremier League):
Jon Jarvis, SAF esports manager, told Esports News UK: “EA indicated to us that there was some unusual activity on his account in December, we can only assume it was due to him sniping a Gullit card on his mobile phone in early November.
“We literally have no other evidence or clue to understand what has happened to ruin this young kid’s chances.
“The automated email had this in there as the reason: ‘Selling, buying, trading or otherwise transferring or offering to transfer an EA account, or any EA content associated with an EA account, including EA virtual currency and other entitlements, either within an EA service or on a third-party website, or in connection with any out-of-game transaction, unless expressly authorized by EA.’
“They haven’t got in contact with us at all. They banned him with an automated email with no consultation. EA are sending us around in circles.”
Esports News UK asked an eLions spokesperson why Conkai wasn’t allowed to take part in the tournament.
“That’s a matter between EA and SAF,” they said. “However, as he has received a year-long ban, it would mean if he won the tournament he wouldn’t be able to sign the contract, so that’s why he had to withdraw.”
An EA spokesperson told Esports News UK: “”Maintaining fair play for everyone is paramount and where we find breaches of our Terms of Service have been made, we take steps to issue penalties.
“We have been in contact with this account holder regarding a violation of the EA SPORTS FIFA Terms of Services and the FIFA 21 Global Series Official Rules which has taken place. For privacy and data protection reasons we cannot go into more detail on their activities.”
In similar news, another UK pro gamer, Call of Duty player Tommey, was hit with a Twitch ban yesterday, albeit a two-week one.
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.