It was a harrowing night for Brighton as they were thumped 4-0 at Luton Town but Julio Encisco didn’t seem overly concerned. In fact, the Paraguay international opted to play computer games rather than follow his Seagulls’ teammates, and was perhaps vindicated in doing so after Roberto de Zerbi’s men produced a horror show at Kenilworth Road.
On the contrary, the hosts were rampant, and the game was just 18 seconds old when Elijah Adebayo headed past away keeper Jason Steele. Chiedozie Ogbene doubled the lead two minutes later, and the rout continued before half-term as Adebayo struck again to make it 3-0.
And the former Walsall striker completed his treble after the break, continuing Brighton’s awful run in the Premier League. De Zerbi’s team, despite lying seventh, have now won just three times in 16 matches.
However, long before the fourth goal went in, Encisco was embracing one of his hobbies. The 20-year-old remains sidelined after knee injury and is not expected to return until February, but the issue hasn’t hampered his online gaming.
ESPN reporter Roberto Roja tweeted a screenshot of the star’s ongoing game and wrote: “As Brighton are getting smoked by Luton 3-0 at half-time, their number 10 Julio Enciso is currently streaming EA Sports FC 24 on Twitch.”
However, rather that criticise the player, irate Brighton fans appeared to actually back his decision. “I don’t blame him,” wrote @jeromheath, while @jameswb21 added “Fairs I might jump on too.”
In fairness to Enciso, he would not have been able to follow his side on television given it wasn’t one of the games selected by TNT Sports. But it’s an image club officials could have done without on what was already a humiliating night for the club.
Last month, it was confirmed that Encisco had undergone a second minor procedure in his recovery from a torn meniscus in his left knee. He could still play a crucial role this season however, and is due to be back available in time for his side’s last-16 Europa League tie.
The midfielder has made a big impression since signing from Paraguayan side Libertad in the summer of 2022, scoring four Premier League goals in his debut season. Following his injury setback, De Zerbi said: “Unfortunately it can happen in football. I am sorry for him because he was playing very well but football is like this sometimes”