A huge scandal has hit the online FIFA community recently, as several of the world’s top players were caught in a secret Discord colluding to avoid playing each other, thus making their games easier, and their winnings more secure.
There’s a lot to take in here if you don’t play FIFA—and if you want the details you should really read Eurogamer’s excellent write-up on the story—but the gist is that every weekend the best FIFA players on the planet play each other for loot and event qualification.
Some players are obviously better than others, though, and with prizes handed out on a simple W/L basis, rather than taking an opponent’s skill into account, it would be advantageous for the elite guys to make sure they weren’t playing each other, so as to increase their odds of everyone at the top getting the good stuff.
Which is exactly what has been happening, with players using a secret Discord to work out ways to avoid being matched against each other. This was discovered recently when a well-respected FIFA player Nick “RunTheFutMarket” Bartels revealed screenshots of the group in this video:
Funny how a game mode designed to maximise profits and bring out the worst in humanity by triggering our responses to gambling and loot...brought out the worst in these guys.
Once alerted about the Discord, EA handed out a punishment to one of the players involved, NYC_Chris, who received a “two qualifier suspension from the EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Global Series.”
As the Eurogamer report points out, while it’s good that EA took action against one of the world’s most prominent players, it’s odd that only one person was disciplined for a practice that clearly included many more.