A prominent FIFA pro player has retired from competitive play after EA banned him for a “mum joke”.
25-year-old British FIFA pro Harry Hesketh was banned for February’s Europe regional qualifier event because of language he used during a Twitch broadcast on 12th December 2020 in reference to his opponent’s mother.
Hesketh made the lewd comment during a livestream after he lost heavily to 14-year-old FIFA wonderkid Anders Vejrgang during an online match.
Vejrgang is considered one of, if not the best FIFA players in the world right now and is on an astonishing 450-0 run in FUT Champs – FIFA Ultimate Team’s most hardcore competitive mode.
Hesketh was losing 3-0 to Vejrgang in the first half of the match when he stopped taking the game seriously, putting the controller down for long periods. Eventually, with the score 11-0 after Vejrgang had scored with his goalkeeper, Hesketh forfeited the match due to inactivity.
Hesketh has also parted ways with his esports team, Fnatic, and has said he will focus on FIFA content creation on Twitch and YouTube.
In a video discussing the ban, Hesketh apologised for what he called “one distasteful comment”.
“I made one distasteful comment, right. ‘His fingers might be quick, but mine are longer,’ and I made a reference to his mother.
“I know a UK base is going to be like, well it’s a mum joke, who hasn’t made a mum joke, and try to defend me. Don’t defend me. At the end of the day he’s 14. It’s a distasteful comment. For that I apologise directly to Anders and his mother.”
In confirming the ban, EA said Hesketh had committed a FIFA 21 Global Series code of conduct violation for:
“Publishing, posting, uploading or distributing content, or organising/participating in any activity, group or guild that EA (acting reasonably and objectively) determines is inappropriate, abusive, hateful, harassing, profane, defamatory, threatening, obscene, sexually explicit, infringing, privacy-invasive, vulgar, offensive, indecent or unlawful.”
However, Hesketh was found to not have incited his viewers to harass Vejrgang (Hesketh spends much of his stream and apology video calling on his fans not to abuse Vejrgang).
“The evidence showed actions were taken by the player and his team at the time to denounce the behaviour of viewers and deter them from harassing the opponent,” EA said. “No action will be taken against the player for these reports.”
“I am announcing my retirement from EA competitive events, effective immediately,” Hesketh, who has over 700,000 subscribers on YouTube, said.
“This is the biggest risk of my life, bar none. If I’m not competing, I’m not competing for a team. I’m deleting a three-year contract… my main income.”