PES 2020 gaining momentum as FIFA streamers look elsewhere12th March 2020
Frustrated FIFA streamers have grown tired with the game and are now playing rival eFootball PES 2020.
The controversy has encouraged many players to follow suit and while there is no threat of the most-played football game being dethroned just yet, it has certainly caused a storm.
Electronic Arts’ (EA) product has had little competition in recent memory, largely thanks to its popular Ultimate Team mode in which fans can collect cards inspired by their favourite footballers.
The game type itself has gathered negative reception since it is driven by microtransactions, which accounts for a large proportion of the publisher’s revenue.
This isn’t exclusive to FIFA, particularly when the entire video games industry is under scrutiny for encouraging player spending. Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer franchise has suffered from similar criticism lately, too.
Worldwide there have been calls for loot boxes to be banned altogether, similar to Belgium’s approach to the issue.
However, and while the outcry against microtransactions is heating up, this isn’t the leading reason behind the sudden switches to PES.
FIFA streamers look toward PES
Kurt Fenech – better known as Kurt0411 – is a 25-year-old former professional FIFA eSports player from Malta.
His time on the global stage was cut short after he spoke out against EA on FIFA’s issues, such as the notoriously fickle servers. He was subsequently banned from competing at future events.
The servers supporting the game have become so temperamental as of late that during a recent event, two professionals could not connect with each other to play their game.
They were told to settle who would proceed to the next round by playing a game of rock, paper, scissors.
The ex pro continued to criticise the game and EA’s employees in a number of videos uploaded to YouTube, which led to the publisher banning him from accessing any of its video games.
EA said the reason behind Fenech’s ban was because he was posting “abusive and threatening messages” directed at its employees.
While he took responsibility for his actions, he did slam back at the publisher to the BBC – labelling the ban as an “abuse of power”.
The move meant he could no longer stream FIFA on Twitch, prompting the former eSports player to make a switch to rival Konami’s PES 2020.
Fenech’s live streams following his ban have attracted upwards of 15,000 concurrent viewers. These numbers are scarcely seen in most FIFA streams, save for its most popular content creators such as Castro1021 or when an eSports tournament is being held.
While his popularity has grown, he has also received support from fellow members of the community.
Nick – better known as ‘RunTheFUTMarket’ – is well-known for trading on the Ultimate Team transfer market and making coins without spending real money.
He too has grown frustrated with FIFA and has begun playing PES.
Likewise, Donovan ‘DhTekKz’ Hunt – the highest ranked player of EA’s game at this time – has sympathised with Kurt.
Despite being one of the most popular professionals in FIFA right now, he also has his issues with the game. During a recent event, he exclaimed:
“It’s so unrewarding, anyone can win, guys who aren’t good can win at FIFA 20 and no one enjoys playing it.”
The trio have been teaming up to play three versus three matches on PES, attracting a large viewership in doing so.
Consequently, more and more FIFA players have been installing the free version of Konami’s title and trying it out for themselves.
Both Nick and Tekkz are still playing FIFA and have far from abandoned it, but they have both been public on stream about how much more enjoyable Pro Evolution Soccer is compared to EA’s game, at least for the time being.
Konami is speaking to content creators
PES has a long way to go before it can compete with FIFA, but interestingly, and as RunTheFUTMarket revealed on a live stream, Konami has approached both Nick and Kurt to gather their thoughts on how to bridge the divide between the two.
A Konami Representative provided eGaming Desk with the following comment:
“We welcome all new users and streamers to eFootball PES 2020, sticking by our tagline ‘Playing is Believing’. We work closely with the PES community and content creators throughout the year, and will continue to do so in the future.”
“We listen closely to all player feedback and refer to that when we are developing the latest iteration in the franchise and for our incremental Data Packs. As of this year, our development team opened a dedicated Facebook page for regular updates and a forum for players to offer their feedback.”
EA Sports FIFA, Kurt0411 and RunTheFUTMarket have also been contacted for comment by eGaming Desk, but a response has yet to be received.
Interested in reading more FIFA-related stories? Discover more about professional FIFA eSports players deliberately avoiding each other in competitive games.