England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has made a few handy saves so far at this World Cup, but between waiting around for large parts of a game, and then having days between matches, there’s a lot of spare time to fill. Which he has duly done by getting an enormous gaming setup shipped over from home.
Pickford, who plays his club football for Everton, revealed the power move as part of this promotional interview below, which runs for over 20 minutes but which I’ve set to autoplay at the relevant moment:
Seems the guy really likes playing Fortnite, and had previously taken gaming laptops with him while on national duty so he could play on his off days. But switching between those cramped confines and his regular setup had proved too much for the Euro 2021 Golden Glove winner, so for Qatar he just figured, fuck it, and got something more heavy duty shipped over.
The monogrammed container it arrived in is, indeed, a “proper bit of kit.” Inside it’s still a laptop, but with a custom-built, full-size screen included, so that the visual experience on the road matched what he was used to at home.
As for Fortnite, it’s not just Pickford playing; as he says above it’s something he plays with the lads, and four years ago at the last World Cup the England squad were famously, absolutely hooked on it:
Aside from their inspired celebrations, England players have been very forthcoming about their own Fortnite escapades in the camp. It’s no surprise that team youngsters Marcus Rashford and Alli play religiously, or that young-at-heart Raheem Sterling and Lingard log on to Epic Games’ best-seller, but the true revelation has been star striker Kane.
Kane, or should we say “hkane23”, has racked up an astonishing 110 matches while in Russia, closely followed by Tottenham (and evidently Fortnite) teammate Alli, also known as “Delstroyer14”, who has played 82 times, according to reports. The pair have previously livestreamed their matches, including one against defender and teammate Harry Maguire.
This being 2022, and with the World Cup running (for some countries at least) for almost a month, he’s far from the only person there playing Fortnite in his downtime. But he is, surely, the only one “just tryin to get the best frames, trying to get the upper hand” with a monogrammed, armoured computer case.
It’s also lovely to see that, since switching to a PC laptop, he’s having more luck with his power supply.