Lockdown Fantasy Football is a play-by-email football management game.

Managers compete in league and cup tournaments by playing matches against each other, as well as buying and selling players directly from each other.

The matches are run twice a week using the free ESMS (electronic soccer management software) program. Prior to a game, managers email their tactics to the League Commissioners who input both sets of instructions from opposing teams to determine the winners.

A guide on how to play can be found here.

The game was established by Mike in April 2020 and handed over to Will and Yulong after season two. Mike took over again at the start of Season Six.

Don’t trust Will.

Why is the cup competition named the ‘POWF Plate’?

A few of us used to drink in the Prince of Wales Feathers (POWF), opposite Warren Street tube station and directly over the road from our office. It’s cramped, overpriced, far too noisy and the bar staff are about 12 but it was ours on Friday nights.

Origin story

At the start of Covid-19 lockdown (proper lockdown, panic-buying-loo-roll lockdown, allocated-60-minutes-exercise-time lockdown, definitely-no-takeaway-pints lockdown) in April 2020, Mike remembered an ESMS game that he played a few years ago.

He texted his friends and eight managers played the first season of what became Lockdown Fantasy Football.

The eight managers then began inviting their friends and friends of friends who they thought would also enjoy the game – namely those with an unhealthy interest in Football Manager – and the game expanded.

In seasons three, four and five Will and Yulong took over running the game and helped improve and progress the game. Mike returned to run the game in season six.

Today the game is a collection of the group of friends who started the game, a number of friends of friends who have also joined and since become our friends, and a wider number of ESMS players from across the internet who we’ve welcomed into the game with us.