Will EA FC 24 Players Get a Free TOTY Messi? Unraveling EA's Latest Mess


Ah, EA Sports. What have you gone and done to yourselves now?

EA Sports FC 24 players are dealing with yet another major controversy surrounding Ultimate Team after waves of Team of the Year Lionel Messi were handed out in an 86+ TOTY League SBC. Let's recap the timeline of events.

  • Jan. 30, 1 p.m. ET - EA Sports releases 86+ TOTY Leagues Player Pick SBC
  • Following release, players begin completing the SBC
  • As players begin opening, numerous reports surface of TOTY Messi appearing consistently
  • Word starts to spread, more and more players flock to complete the SBC
  • More and more players pack TOTY Messi
  • The SBC begins to disappear from the menus for players who haven't completed it
  • 1:42 p.m. ET - EA Sports posts on its Direct Communications X account that there has been an issue identified and the SBC has been disabled

What a mess. Now, not every player who completed the SBC received Messi, but a large amount of players did. It's near impossible to quantify how many players actually pulled Messi. But, based on social media and engagement with content creators on streaming platforms, it's a lot.

Immediately, there were cries for compensation considering how frequent Messi was being pulled. Especially after EA Sports announced that there was an issue with the SBC and it would be disabled. This isn't new for the developer, issues arise historically frequently for the franchise. Just recently, players who completed a Hero Player Pick with an 87+ guaranteed rating floor received 86 rated players. The SBC was disabled, reenabled and players will receive compensation if they were affected. Simpler to handle, and something that won't cause that much commotion overall considering, as mentioned, these issues aren't new to the player base.

But now, Team of the Year cards are the topic of controversy. Not just any TOTY item too, it's Lionel Messi's 97 rated card that carries near a nine million coin price on the Transfer Market. So, are players likely to receive compensation? Let's dive into it.

Will EA FC 24 Players Get a Free TOTY Messi? Unraveling EA's Latest Mess

The issue seems to have arisen based on the SBC contents. The players available in the pool were 86 rated or higher from leagues featured in Team of the Year. Now, Messi is the only 86+ rated player in the MLS. So, if MLS was selected randomly in the pool, it had to be TOTY Messi. Now, that would make sense in general if Messi had appeared for some. But, at the rate Messi was appearing, players rushed to complete the SBC considering something must've been bugged. Then, of course, EA Sports disabled it announcing something was amiss.

There was a similar case to this years ago in FIFA 20. During Team of the Season, players who opened a Guaranteed Bundesliga TOTS SBC pack received Jadon Sancho, arguably the best TOTS from that league, more often than not. It was dubbed "The Sancho Pack" by the community.

Regarding exact compensation, it's important to know what exactly went wrong. Did EA Sports incorrectly code how frequently MLS players should appear? TOTY drop weight in general has been abysmal this year, and questions were already raised following change in store pack probabilities. Regardless, EA Sports confirmed something was wrong. So, will players who opened the SBC player pick and didn't get Messi receive some sort of compensation? It'd be unprecedented, but it's highly unlikely EA Sports gives the entire player base a TOTY Messi item. If they do, Messi will likely be in nearly every game moving forward.

EA Sports won't likely come out and say anything regarding the exact issue, which underlines a greater problem in the game's scene. They'll likely chalk it up as outrage and players will forget about it in a couple weeks. But, now, most players will assume that whenever they come up against TOTY Messi in Rivals or Champions that it was obtained irregularly. Similar feelings to when Icon Gate surfaced years ago.

The likely outcomes are: return fodder to those who opened the pack and give everyone another 86+ TOTY Leagues Player Pick with the error fixed, or do nothing. The latter would enrage the community even more. EA Sports is in a tough spot now, they've ruined the biggest promotion of the year. One I thought would be the best TOTY ever. This is a big opportunity for EA Sports to step up and handle the situation correctly.

Though, many, myself included, don't believe the developer will do so.