16 May 23



Dignitas Duke Wins Fortnite Championship Series North American Grand Finals

Dignitas, the esports vertical of New Meta Entertainment, Inc. (NME) has won its first Championship in Fortnite at the Fortnite Championship Series (FNCS) Major 2 Finals.

AussieAntics’ FNCS Watch Party presented by MIKE AND IKE® watched by 17,000 concurrent Fortnite fans

LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2023 -- Dignitas, the esports vertical of New Meta Entertainment, Inc. (NME) has won its first Championship in Fortnite at the Fortnite Championship Series (FNCS) Major 2 Finals. Dignitas player Lucas “Duke” Cardenas and his teammate Ben “Edgey” Peterson were crowned best in North America as Champions of this weekend’s FNCS Grand Finals. The duo won the $150,000 first place prize and automatically qualified for the FNCS Global Championship in Copenhagen, Denmark featuring a $4,000,000 prize pool.

In addition to Duke’s Championship, Dignitas had a notable presence in the top twenty, with Fortnite World Cup victor, Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, finishing in fifth place, Abdullah “Acorn” Akhras finishing in sixth place, Leon “Khanada” Khim finishing twelfth place and Cameron “Cam” Dean finishing seventeenth place. 

Dignitas dominated fan conversation over the weekend, as content creator and Fortnite personality Shaun “AussieAntics” Cochrane hosted a 2-day FNCS Grand Finals Watch Party presented by MIKE AND IKE®, the official candy of Dignitas Fortnite. The stream was regarded as one of the most creative and engaging Fortnite watch party streams in the game’s history and garnered over seventy-two million impressions throughout the weekend. Nearly 17,000 concurrent Fortnite fans enjoyed Aussie’s commentary from an immersive XR stage, produced by NME’s Broadcast Producer, Alexis Wood, and in collaboration with Do Not Peek Entertainment. Fans were awarded with discounts on MIKE AND IKE® and other giveaways in the highly engaged live chat. Aussie’s live stream was the most viewed watch party throughout the event and consistently on par with the event’s main broadcast.

“Duke has been an integral part of the Dignitas Fortnite program since our entry into the esport in May 2022,” said James Baker, Dignitas General Manager. “His performance in the FNCS Championship not only showcased his dedication, skill, and unyielding commitment to this sport, but it also solidified Dignitas' place as the most prominent organization in Fortnite. We are excited to see him and our other players continue to showcase excellence at the FNCS Global Championship in Copenhagen.”

“We are thrilled to celebrate Duke’s FNCS victory and are excited that Fortnite fans have welcomed MIKE AND IKE® candy into their community,” said Deb Turoczy, Senior Manager of Consumer Engagement for Just Born. “Aussie's Watch Party further demonstrated the MIKE AND IKE® Brand’s commitment to add flavor and fun to the Dignitas Fortnite experience by featuring fan incentives and a state-of-the-art broadcast production.”

Fortnite continues to be a major focus for Dignitas and the FNCS Championship is the result of significant focus on fortifying its competitive division. In addition to a Fortnite esports focus, Dignitas’ creator program also includes well-known personalities Amber “AlarmingAmber” Pettinato and Piero "pgod" Ramirez, who have been instrumental in making Dignitas the most engaged organization in Fortnite.

Dignitas Fortnite players will take on a new challenge this summer, competing in the $250,000 DreamHack “Zero Build” events in Dallas and Sweden, with hopes of qualifying and joining Dignitas’ Khanada at the $2,000,000 Gamers8 event this July in Saudi Arabia.


Since its formation in 2003, Dignitas has established itself as one of the most successful esports organizations in the world, amassing 18 World Championships across multiple gaming titles. In September 2016, Dignitas was acquired by the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), a diverse, global portfolio of sports and entertainment franchises and properties that includes the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), New Jersey Devils (NHL) and more. Dignitas is the esports organization within New Meta Entertainment, Inc. (NME), a new media sports and entertainment company founded in May 2019 by an investor group that includes HBSE, Susquehanna International Group and Delaware North, among others. Dignitas currently fields four teams in three of esports’ largest and most popular games: League of Legends, Fortnite and Rocket League.  In 2021, NME launched Raidiant, a first-of-its-kind broadcast solutions platform to empower women in gaming through competitive and influencer driven events. With content studios and player wellness facilities in Greater New York City and Los Angeles, and infrastructure in Europe, NME is a global leader dedicated to esports athletes, digital influencers, and entertainment game-changers.

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