After defeating all comers at the recent Madden Bowl 2017 tournament finals, Chris "Dubby" McFarland had a $75,000 paycheck under his belt. But after a string of "inappropriate" conduct on social media, EA has docked McFarland's payout and lowered his competitive ranking.
As Polygon reports, McFarland made a series of objectionable tweets (which have since been removed) on his personal account following his victory. EA met with McFarland and warned him about making more inappropriate tweets – a warning McFarland did not heed. After McFarland made additional offensive tweets, the Madden publisher decided to take action, cutting $3,000 from McFarland's winnings and removing 100 Madden NFL Championship Points from online ranking (according to EA Sports' website, the current highest-ranked player in Madden as of December has 1000 points). "These posts violated our Code of Conduct and don't represent the values of our organization," Matt Marcou, Madden's Competitive Gaming Commissioner, said in a statement.
McFarland's reaction to his punishment has since been mixed. Though he's deleted the offending tweets, promised his tweets from now on would be "dry as a dessert," and that, as champioin his tweets reflected poorly on him and EA by association, he's also made a point that it's not something he's happy about. "Today is the day the real Dubby dies. Feel free to unfollow." he posted.
$3,000 and a some ranking points feel like a slap on the wrist, but hey, that's still $3,000. Still, it's a matter of principle, and I agree with EA's decision here. Some may cry foul about the role someone's social media should or should not play in competitions like this, but EA warned him, which makes it hard to empathize with McFarland. I wonder if second place is hoping for a $3,000 windfall now?