Electronic Arts (EA) and most especially its hugely popular, but highly divisive game mode FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) is no stranger to controversy. With the release of FIFA 20 in September of this year, the game and the publisher has been subject to criticism for its questionable over reliance on micro transactions to the dilution of the games signature gameplay mechanisms.

However, with FIFA well established as an esport targeting a global audience and the companys keeness to voice its support for diversity issues, its inability to recognize or acknowledge a sizeable pool of African gamers is a slap in the face for a community that continues to be largely ignored by western publishers and developers.

#Dexxjunior (The African Champion of Europe Africa MashUp) secured 28 Wins on FUT Champion this week and reached the TOP 100 on FIFA 20, but wasn’t able to participate in the FIFA 20 Global Series because African Gamers aren’t eligible.

It’s a stance that has been duly criticised by a large cross section of the African gaming community.

It’s unacceptable in 2019 that EA doesn’t recognize African Gamers in their online tournament. EA rules out Senegal and other African Countries. You can not call something global when Africa is not part of the equation… A Big NO! Their rules need to be changed they must include Africa because there are more than 20K FIFA players on this Continent. It is about time recognition of Africa by Game Publishers as we are part of the global gaming community. Despite of the bad internet and lack of local servers our players train hard to be on the top 100 best FIFA players every week.

Kwesi Hayford

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first and likely the last time a major Western publisher has ignored the continent with Riot Games coming under fire a couple of years for failing to provide servers to service their African community of League of Legend players.

Even large competitions such as Valves The International which boasts attendances from teams around the world fails to acknowledge the inclusion of any African based esports teams. Whilst the decision to overlook the region smacks of ignorance, most of these major games companies and driven by the bottom line – Money.

With Africa currently boasting about 20 000 esports players, that pool is simply just too small for most to invest in supporting their fanbase. In the words of Sebastian Burton from Gold Standard Gaming.

Feel like I shouldn’t have to say this in our beloved esports (which I constantly refer to as the GREAT EQUALIZER) #representationmatters.