Server issues led to two pro players in an EA-sponsored FIFA 2020 qualifying event to settle their match this weekend through a game of rock, paper, scissors.
“I can not believe it,” FIFA pro Shaun “Brandsha56” Galea tweeted† “We literally had to play rock paper scissors because [sic] we couldn’t find each other to invite to an EA LICENSED QUALIFIER. WTF!! I’m ready.”
“All that hard work [sic] from Phase 1 for absolutely nothing,” Galea added in a follow-up tweet (since deleted, archived here† “Phase II is coming and I lose a rock-paper-scissors game to set my Swiss record. What more can I say? My head is completely gone.”
Galea’s Competition, Hasan “Hasoo19” Eker, confirmed in his own tweet (translated from German) that he went to a 3-1 record in the round “because I was able to successfully triumph in Rock Paper Scissors.”
EA tweeted a statement in response to what it called a “truly unique situation”, noting that the contestants “decided to proactively play ‘rock, paper, scissors’ to determine the winner of the match after being unable to connect for their match. For context, a double-not joining and participating in a qualifying tournament will result in a loss for both entrants, this is to prevent connectivity issues from being exploited as a competitive advantage.”
Indeed, the official rules for online FIFA qualifiers describe a series of troubleshooting steps that both players must go through if the game fails to connect. But “if after twenty (20) minutes from the start of that round, participants are unable to connect, tournament administrators will assign a loss to both participants and record the incident,” the rules read.
However, instead of reporting the connection problem, Galea and Eker agreed to the rock, paper, scissors agreement so that at least one of them would win. Postponing the match until the servers became more available was not an option.
For Galea, the match loss was the first of three to be eliminated from the Swiss-style qualifying round. Eker, who had a Swiss record of 3-1 after winning the Rock, Paper, Scissors match, also did not advance to the next round, according to EA.
A pitch full of problems
Galea and Eker’s match highlights widespread server issues EA says the experienced during the weekend† Those issues seemed to primarily affect: FIFAwhich was forced to disable match creation for a few hours on Saturday, even as pros competed in qualifiers.
The disruption came when thousands of players tried to continue through the FIFA Weekend League, where players who have earned enough in-game points can compete for in-game rewards and qualification points for the pro circuit. EA the Weekend League extended by 24 hours due to connection problems.
FIFA pro player Frederique Levy complained on Twitter three-hour wait times to connect to EA’s servers, as well as an undeserved loss caused by alleged server problems later on the day.
The server issues stem from widespread complaints about the gameplay balance for this year’s edition FIFA† “Nobody likes to play [FIFA 20]”Prof player Donovan “Tekkz” Hunt said in a post-game interview last month, “because this year’s game is so thankless. Anyone can win, guys who aren’t good can win at FIFA 20†
Complaints about unaddressed cheating in online matches are also bubbling up FIFA pluses. “It makes me really sad to see that some of the unnecessary problems we have now in qualifying have simple solutions,” FIFA pro and coach Nathan Zelonius Horton said on Twitter this weekend. “Outrageous cheating needs to be eradicated in Esport. It’s appalling and just unfair to the players on the wrong side of this and needs to be fixed quickly.”
Last week, EA controversially banned FIFA player Kurt “Kurt0411” Fenech of all EA games and services, after months of allegedly toxic behavior, threats and outspoken complaints about EA and FIFA† Kurt’s fans have been flooding EA’s social media channels with complaints about the move in recent days.