We might not be able to venture outside to play some real life football, but now you can do so from the safety of your own home, within one of the world’s most popular video games.
The Battle Royale mechanics and cartoonish shooting of Fortnite might not seem like it would pair well with the beautiful game, but creators Epic Games have taken a chance and announced a raft of partnerships to bring the world's most popular sport to the game.
New kits for your in game avatar to wear, brand new emotes that recall the actions of famous players, and more – it’s all coming in January.
“We really view this as the start of what we want to do in football," Nate Nanzer, Fortnite's head of global partnerships, told Radio 1 Newsbeat.
"We've dabbled in the past, like we did some stuff with Liverpool Football Club a few months ago, but that's now evolved into this, and the football calendar is pretty exciting over the next couple years, so hopefully we can keep doing more.”
Here’s everything you need to know about it.
How can I support my team?
The biggest addition as part of Fortnite’s next update is the Kickoff Set, which brings football kits to the game.
From Saturday 23 January, you’ll be able to choose from 10 new variants of male and female outfits for your chosen character.
Each one of these can be swapped to any of the 23 football clubs that Epic Games have partnered with, so you can show off your sporting allegiances in game.
The full list of clubs involved is as follows:
|FC Schalke 04|
|Los Angeles FC|
|Manchester City FC|
|Melbourne City FC|
|Seattle Sounders FC|
|West Ham United FC|
|Western Sydney Wanderers|
Teams from around the world are represented – from Germany, to Japan, to Australia – but of most note to Scottish football fans is the inclusion of Rangers’ and Celtic’s kits.
The Old Firm have struck a deal which will allow for their brands to feature in the game, which was labelled a cultural phenomenon by the Washington Post in 2018.
It is played by more than 350 million users across the globe.
How is Pelé involved?
Epic Games has partnered with legendary Brazilian footballing superstar Pelé to bring his iconic celebration into the game.
From 23 January, you’ll be able to celebrate your Victory Royale wins just like Pelé did 1,282 times throughout his illustrious career, when Pele’s Air Punch Emote is made available in the Item Shop.
Plus, players can take part in the Pelé Cup from 20 January, for a chance to win the Air Punch Emote and Kickoff Set early and for free.
For the full rules of the Pelé Cup, head to Epic Games’ website; top scorers will also have the opportunity to win a customised signed shirt.
How can you play football in Fortnite?
As part of the sporty tie-in, Epic Games are introducing a new football-inspired Creative island which will allow you to have a kickabout within Fortnite’s virtual world.
OK, so it’s not really anything like real world football, but as an alternative to a muddy field and jumpers for goalposts, we’ll take anything we can get right now.
In the new game mode – featured in the Creative Hub – players can use their bodies, Pickaxes, power-ups, speed boosts and more to try to outscore their opponents.
Two teams of four will take each other on in a bracket style tournament, with each game featuring two rounds; the winners advance to face off against each other in the finals, while third and fourth places are determined in another match.