This past week has been a rough one for the FIFA community, with disturbing allegations of cheating calling into question the legitimacy of FIFA Ultimate Team's most competitive mode.
Some of FIFA 18's top players have been accused of disconnecting to avoid recording a loss via what's called a "no loss glitch" - and now there are calls from some for EA to cancel this week's Weekend League until the company can sort out the problem.
FUT Champions is FIFA Ultimate Team's most competitive mode. I've reported on its demands and rewards, and the reason so many put so many hours into it (it requires you play 40 matches each weekend). Top eligible players on the global FUT Champions leaderboard receive an invitation to the FUT Champions Cups, so each match counts.
The allegations of cheating hit the FIFA community when pro player Krasimir Ivanov was accused of disconnecting in a match to avoid a loss.
Under normal circumstances, quitting out of an online match in FUT automatically registers as a 3-0 loss to the player who pulled the plug. However, it seems there is an issue with appropriately registering a loss when a player tethers their console to a mobile phone connection and disconnects via their phone.
This problem is highlighted in the video in the tweet below.
Just look how simple it is pic.twitter.com/3SGYnX5iDy— anthony viana (@anthony_thonyy) December 4, 2017
It may also be the case that simply turning your console off mid-match causes this "no loss glitch", as highlighted by the video below.
Earlier this week a tweet from FIFA player Lenny21LFC showed a video of a match in which Ivanov disconnects from a game, but retains his 39-1 Weekend League record.
Yesterday in WL vs @WWkrasi! He is Top 100 with 39-1. Glitch?— XpertenhundLenny (@Lenny21LFC) December 4, 2017
Maybe 'dedicated servers' lol?
Please retweet!!! pic.twitter.com/6fEhdQU9pN
Ivanov was also accused of disconnecting against fellow pro FIFA player Benedikt "SaLz0r" Saltzer while 3-0 down (the disconnect is recorded in a clip of SaLz0r's stream).
Last night, Ivanov took to Twitter to deny cheating, insisting he has never used a 4G connection to win games.
Last tweet regarding the current situation. True fans - thanks for the support, haters - I'm sorry that my life is more interesting than yours. Krasi is the biggest cheater in the world ? He became a European champion, by cheating ? pic.twitter.com/By2RtIV90r— Krasi (@KrasiFIFA) December 5, 2017
He did, however, admit to rage quitting against SaLz0r by disconnecting his PS4, but claims he never recorded a loss for some reason.
Ivanov goes on to hit out at fellow FIFA pros, who he accuses of quitting games when they find themselves up against each other online. How do they know they're playing a fellow pro? They use certain kits to recognise each other before the match begins.
Another pro FIFA player accused of cheating is Ovidiu Patrascu. Patrascu also took to Twitter to deny any wrongdoing, insisting a recent ban was the result of coin promoting (most FIFA pros promote coin selling on their YouTube channels, which is against EA's rules but rarely enforced).
Good morning everyone, a few words on what has happened to me lately :(, have a nice day ! pic.twitter.com/AgGuszqazH— Ovvy (@OvidiuPatrascu) December 6, 2017
While both Ivanov and Patrascu have denied cheating, the allegations have called into question the legitimacy of the FUT Champions mode. It's now difficult to know who in the top 100 FUT Champions leaderboard achieved their place legitimately, and who cheated their way to the top. It may be the case that some players have been denied a top 100 spot simply because cheaters have pushed them out.
There's a growing call for EA to cancel this week's Weekend League in order to sort out FUT Champions (we've asked EA for comment). Influential FIFA YouTuber MattHD, who has 2.1m subscribers, published a video expressing his concern that this disconnection issue could ruin FUT Champions.
It remains to be seen whether EA will take action, but for now, most players agree the mega publisher has its work cut out to restore faith in FUT.