At the soccer World Cup in Russia, England recently took on Panama, defeating the South American side by six goals to one. While the final score garnered headlines for being the highest goal tally ever recorded during an England World Cup match, the game had gamers talking for an entirely different reason.
During the match, England and Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard scored an impressive goal, sending the ball into the back out of the net with a shot from outside of the box. In celebration, Lingard ran over to supporters in the stands and began to do the ‘Shoot’ dance, which involves a fist pump and simultaneous kick with the legs. The dance will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has played Fortnite Battle Royale as the dance is an equippable emote, known as ‘Hype.’
My kids advise me Lingard did the #fortnite hype dance as a celebration. #ENGPAN #WorldCup18 pic.twitter.com/2GVgwITPyI
— Jerome Turner (@jezturner) June 24, 2018
As many will be quick to point out, Fortnite did not invent the Shoot dance. The dance move was first created by American rapper BlocBoy JB and featured in the music video for Shoot which was released in November 2017. However, the move has been made popular once more because of its inclusion in Fortnite Battle Royale. Lingard may have learned the move from the game – especially likely given that many members of the England square are reportedly fans of the game.
What a goal, @JesseLingard! ????#threelions pic.twitter.com/QRH7rH3LSV
— England (@England) June 24, 2018
Lingard’s fellow players, including Harry Kane (who scored a hat-trick during the match against Panama), Dele Alli, and Kieran Trippier are all avid Fortnite players. Kane is believed to have played more than 100 games of Fortnite since arriving in Russia. In an interview, Trippier also revealed that there are nine players on the squad who enjoy Fortnite and while it’s unclear if Lingard is one of them, the players are using it as a way to relax in between games.
JLingz Has Arrived ⚡️????????#ShootShootShoot #JLingz pic.twitter.com/moCTdOGuFu
— Jesse Lingard (@JesseLingard) June 24, 2018
Lingard and co. are not the only soccer stars to be keen on the game. At the Europa League final earlier this year, France and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann performed the famous Take The L dance which has also been made popular by Fortnite.
In fact, these soccer players aren’t even the only professional athletes to perform Fortnite-inspired celebrations. Professional rugby players from New Zealand also showed their love for the game during a match, with the players also saying that they had used it as a bonding exercise. Epic Games will be glad to see that its game is inspiring such high-profile people and the free publicity on the world stage will probably put some smiles on faces too.
Fortnite is available now in early access for iOS, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A release on Android devices is also planned.