World’s most expensive soccer player Neymar Jr becomes first playable athlete in Fortnite
Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar JR has become the first professional athlete to have a skin in Fortnite. The Neymar Jr Fortnite Skin will be a secret unlockable and Epic Games has also announced the Neymar Jr Cup.
A landmark collaboration for Epic Games
Epic Games have officially unveiled the Neymar Jr Fortnite skin they teased back in March. Starting April 27th players can begin tackling his Battle Pass quests to unlock his outfit and other items from his "high-octane set". Completing all the quests including epic-rarity will additionally unlock his primal forms.
Epic Games' Fortnite has featured a lot of crossovers recently including Street Fighter's Ryu and Chun-Li, Halo's Master Chief, God of War's Kratos and Tomb Raider's Lara Croft. However, the Neymar Jr Fortnite skin is the first time a professional athlete has had their own cosmetic added to the Battle Royale. As part of the collaboration Neymar Jr and his sponsor Puma have added arena modes. (more details below)
Who is Neymar Jr?
Neymar Jr is a Brazilian professional soccer player who rose to fame after being recruited by Spanish club Barcelona in 2013, playing alongside Lionel Messi. He continued to enjoy success after moving from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in 2017. Neymar Jr remains the most expensive football transfer of all time. The transfer was worth €222 million making him the most expensive player ever. Neymar Jr is currently the 3rd highest top scorer in the UEFA Champions League this season behind Erling Haaland and PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe.
Neymar was ranked 4th in Forbes' highest paid athletes in the world rankings
Neymar is one of the most prominent athletes in the world and was ranked as 2020's 4th highest paid athlete worldwide by Forbes. His addition to the game could pave the way for other sports figures to make similar cameos.
"If you know Neymar at all, you know he's a huge gamer. Gaming is a big part of his life when he's not on the football pitch. This is a really authentic way to bring him into the game," said Nate Nanzer, Epic's Head of Global Partnerships, in an interview with ESPN. Nate Nanzer went on to say given the "juicy" soccer calendar, that they will "definitely look to have future activations around football around many of these tentpole events that we'll have in the coming years."
What's new besides the Neymar Fortnite skin?
On top of the unlockable skins, Epic Games have also added several other cosmetics including a Soccer Ball Emote, a World Cup trophy shaped Back Bling and a Jaguar shaped Pick-Axe.
The Neymar Fortnite skin package includes a World Cup trophy Back Bling and the Soccer Ball Emote Toy
As part of the collaboration Neymar Jr and PUMA will also take over Fortnite Creative from April 27th to May 4th. During the week a Paris-themed welcome hub - a tip of the hat to his club Paris Saint-Germain - will be made available, with a playlist of new arena maps for players to play "in celebration of Neymar Jr's arrival".
The Neymar Cup will take place on April 28th for a chance to win a custom-designed soccer boot
Finally on April 28th, Epic Games' Fortnite will also host the Neymar Jr Cup, a solo tournament where the top player of each region will earn a custom-designed soccer boot. The soccer boot will be inspired by the Neymar Jr primal form skin (above). Outside of the custom-designed soccer boot for the top competitors and an emoticon for all participating in the event, there are no other prizes.
Neymar has shown interest in esports before
It is not the first time Neymar Jr has shown an interest in competitive gaming. Neymar Jr has previously streamed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Twitch, and took part in a 5 v 5 showmatch in December 2020. During the showmatch Neymar Jr played alongside part of the roster of Brazilian CS:GO team FURIA, who competed against several players from French CS:GO team Vitality. Neymar's 1 v 3 clutch during the showmatch went viral.
The timing of the release of the Neymar Fortnite skin coincides with the FNCS, Fortnite's highest tier of competitive event. Expect to see a lot of Neymar Fortnite skins running around in the coming weeks.
Don't forget to visit our Fortnite section for more news and stories.
Lawrence "Malystryx" Phillips
Administrator | Twitter @MalystryxGDS
Malystryx is Editor-in-Chief/Managing Editor at Esports.gg. and a veteran esports journalist, content creator and personality. He has been involved in the esports scene since 2004 and has worked with many different organizers and portals, including SK Gaming, ESL, Dexerto, GINXTV, Razer and Monster Energy. Malystryx was also a broadcast talent on Valve's Dota 2 Pro Circuit over the last few years, creating on-site video content for PGL and Starladder. In his spare time he streams on Twitch as MalyPlays.