Steven R. April 16, 2019
Brazilian soccer star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is a massive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fan and a pretty solid player, too.
He recently demonstrated that in a showmatch where he led a team to victory over a squad helmed by Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus. The game was set up by Brazilian CS:GO team Furia, with the winner having an opportunity to play against the pros after.
The game was a back and forth affair between two Gold Nova-level squads. Both had solid moments alongside a few serious gaffes with the highlight of the game coming from Neymar himself, who won a key round by pulling off a one versus four clutch. The game went the full 30 rounds and finished 15-15 before the teams playing an improvised overtime period that saw Neymar and company seal things up 4-2.
The reward for the victory was showdown with the professional Furia squad. Though one might expect the team to pull their punches against a celebrity guest, Furia instead ran clean through the team and forced a GG call after taking a 15-0 lead.
Though it was a rough go for the Paris Saint-Germain star, it was still another chapter in what has been a longstanding relationship with the game and its pro community.
The link between Neymar and Counter-Strike first surfaced in 2016 when he rubbed shoulders with the SK Gaming team including Epitácio "TACO" de Melo and Fernando "fer" Alvarenga. This started showing up on the field in 2017 when he performed CS:GO-inspired celebrations after scoring goals. He did so again in 2018 at the World Cup, and made headlines after for playing pub matches with his teammates after. He also periodically posts his own big plays on social media channels.
It is unknown whether he will continue working directly with organizations like this or if his showmatch against Furia was a one-off affair. Either way, expect Neymar’s CS:GO fandom to keep popping up in the news.