Neymar Jr is a well-known 'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' fan and player, often posting on Instagram messages of support for Brazilian 'Counter-Strike' players during important matches – most recently during the Rio De Janeiro Major. He also has some famous exploits in-game, in particular knifing 2019 & 2020 HLTV player of the year, ZywOo.  

As well as being a gaming fan, he has also starred in some of the most popular games in recent memory as a playable character. Previously included as a skin in 'PUBG', created by Irishman Player Unknown aka Brendan Greene, 'Fortnite', and now the latest instalment of 'Call of Duty', players can launch into a game in the image of one of football's biggest stars 

Many Brazilian pro-CS:GO players are friends with top Brazilian footballers too. Coldzera has posted on Instagram from Neymar’s boat, and Fallen is beloved by all Brazilian CS:GO fans including Casemiro, Ribeiro.

Now Neymar and four other top Brazilian players have joined a local FaceIt hub, so they can keep their 'Counter-Strike' skills sharp between football matches. 

They’re not the only international team using 'Counter-Strike' to fill their downtime. According to an article with Bold.DK, Joakim Mæhle (Atalanta) and Jesper Lindstrøm (Eintracht Frankfurt) from the Danish squad have a huge gaming setup in their hotel in Qatar where they play 'Counter-Strike' and other games. 

"The e-sports team Astralis has helped create a professional setup at the player hotel in Qatar, so that the national team players can compete against each other in the computer game Counter-Strike,” they reported. 

Gaming has long been a form of escapism and it’s interesting to see the world’s top athletes removing themselves from the stress of upcoming matches while keeping their minds sharp in an incredibly tactical and skill-based PC game. 

The intersection between sports and esports is only growing stronger as teams such as Munster Rugby, Neymar’s club team P.S.G., Brazilian club Flamengo, Arsenal and many others are starting their own esports teams. Other big names in sport have personally invested or started their own teams with stars like Jesse Lingard and JLINGZ Esports, David Beckham and Guild Esports, and Usain Bolt with Dublin’s own Wylde Esports.