Brazilian 'Jukes' on debut with C9: 'I'll make everyone proud of me'

Cloud9 Academy top laner Flavio "Jukes" Fernandes is the first Brazilian to play with a North American League of Legends organization. Provided by Cloud9

This story was originally published by ESPN Brazil and translated from Portuguese.

In the last couple of weeks, the League of Legends community in Brazil received an opportunity to be represented on the international stage. Streamer Flavio "Jukes" Fernandes became Cloud9 Academy's top laner and debuted in the LCS Academy on May 30.

Jukes used Riven, his favorite champion, in the game against Flyquest Academy. With almost 50,000 viewers on Cloud9's Twitch channel, C9 picked up a win that was celebrated by fans of the Brazilian.

Jukes talked exclusively to ESPN Esports Brazil and confessed that the massive presence of Brazilian fans "hyped" him even more.

"I was here with a personal reason," he said. "I wanted to evolve and make my fans proud. But now I'm being carried away from being a Brazilian streamer to a Brazilian playing abroad. I'll make everyone proud."

Getting to Cloud9

Before the invitation to join Cloud9 Academy, Jukes had few experiences as a pro. He played for Keyd Stars in the Brazilian League of Legends pro circuit -- CBLOL -- in 2016 and played in the Challenger Circuit for Submarino Stars in 2018. He told ESPN that he wasn't looking to go pro again until Cloud9 called on him.

"I was totally cool streaming," he joked.

Lucas Braga, his manager, was already in talks with Cloud9. Jukes only had to say yes.

"I thought it was a joke in the beginning," he said. "When I found out it was for real, I began to think because I'd be gone for three months. But it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I could not say no."

Going pro

Jukes says the team's first idea was for him to act as a streamer.

"The idea was not to play, it was not written that I would keep up with the guys," he said. "So it was a surprise both for me and the team that I managed to keep up with them. I'll play more and stream less. I'll focus on the role of a pro player."

Jukes already has proven mechanics helped make it easier for him to adapt to the team, and learning quickly was important.

"The coach, [Jonathan "Westrice" Nguyen] taught me everything, we kept watching tapes and talked about what I had to do differently," he said, adding that his coach is "very good at what he does."

"He said I'm the best Yasuo they've ever had," Jukes said. "They say if a pick is better for the team, but I have more confidence with another, 'just go with the one you want.' So there's going to be a lot of Riven and a lot of Yasuo, the guys are going to have to ban them anyway."

Debut for LCS Academy

In his first competitive match, Jukes said he was really nervous.

"I paused the game because I spilled water on my keyboard. I got a little crazy over there," he laughed. "Then the game restarted and we won."

He played with Riven for his first match with Cloud9, a victory against Flyquest Academy. He couldn't use Riven for their next game, a loss to Clutch Gaming Academy.

"I was surprised because I wanted to play Riven one more time," he said. "I was really confident."

Clutch Gaming had banned Riven, so he played Gnar instead.

Playing in the United States, Jukes already has faced top opponents.

"[Kevin] 'Hauntzer' [Yarnell] and [Eric] 'Licorice' [Ritchie] are the best players I've already played against," he said. "I know everyone is better than me, but I know that if I play my role well, the team will carry me to victory.

What's next?

Despite being the first Brazilian to play for an American organization, Jukes isn't the first Brazilian to be close to a deal with a North American team. Rafael "Rakin" Knittel was nearly signed by Cloud9 in 2018.

He said that he talked to Rakin about a face off.

"I think that would be nice," he said. "Everybody would watch it. Could you imagine if it were to happen in the LCS? I'd get him and the crowd would lose it."

Despite dreaming of a possible debut at LCS, Jukes isn't looking beyond his experience with Cloud9.

"Being honest, I would not go to any [organization] in Brazil, no. I think, after this C9 adventure, my focus is going to be more stream, really. Stay home quiet," he said.

Jukes said that he will stay in the United States until the end of this stage of the LCS through the championship, but he intends to return to Brazil.

"[My goals are] to be good at LoL, to do my part and to be proud of the organization, my audience and myself. Only that. I want to fulfill my mission here and return home," he said.