It sounds crazy to call any two-time FNCS Champion an “up-and-comer”, but for Lucas “Duke” Cardenas that’s exactly the case. Duke found his initial success in Fortnite through Creative game modes such as zone wars and box fights, as his visually appealing gameplay quickly drew the eyes of prominent community figures. He earned an invite to one of the most exclusive inner circles in gaming, with celebrities such as DJ Akademiks placing bets of up to $10,000 on Duke winning in 1v1 matchups. As he continued to display his mechanical skill in Creative, the competitive community questioned Duke’s ability to translate his flashy gameplay into tournament placements. Duke embraced the underdog title and surprised everyone, winning his first FNCS Championship in Chapter 2, Season 7 in trios alongside two lesser known players (Userz, Justice). Following his win, Epic announced their biggest tournament since the Fortnite World Cup, a $5 million dollar FNCS Grand Royale in which Duke teamed up alongside Mero and Bugha and won the finale. Now, the 16-year-old Duke is currently riding the momentum of his 4th place in Chapter 3, Season 1’s FNCS and hopes to win his third championship this upcoming season.