Twitch streamer 'Ninja,' one of the biggest names in Fortnite, is abandoning the platform

Ninja also brings in revenue from his 22 million subscribers on YouTube, where he posts videos recapping livestreams and gaming events.
Image: ESports: Fortnite World Cup Finals
Gamer Ninja does play by play during the Fortnite World Cup Finals e-sports event at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York on July 27, 2019.Dennis Schneidler / USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

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By Brittany Vincent

Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, one of the biggest names in Fortnite and one of Twitch's biggest streaming stars, has announced he's leaving the service to stream exclusively on Microsoft's Mixer platform.

Blevins announced the pending move Thursday, bringing a hugely lucrative partnership with the Amazon-owned Twitch to an end. Taking to his Twitter account with a link to his new Mixer channel, foreshadowing "the next chapter" of his streaming career, he dropped a follow-up clip where he noted he had been “holding on to” the news for “quite some time.”

"As I look at the next step in my career, achieving bigger goals in the gaming industry with Mixer will allow me to have the perfect balance of opportunities and success,” said Blevins in a statement. “My roots as a gamer started with Halo, so working with Microsoft and coming over to Mixer felt like a natural next step.”

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Now that Ninja has made the leap to Mixer, with his verification badge swiftly removed from Twitch and moved to his new home, it looks like he's ready for a completely new frontier. His fans are right behind him. He's already amassed over 60,000 subscribers on his new permanent streaming home.

Blevins' inaugural Mixer stream debuts Friday, live from Chicago-based music and culture festival Lollapalooza. He's extended an invitation to Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf, the 16-year-old Fortnite World Cup winner, to join him on stream.

A self-made millionaire who came into his wealth by way of broadcasting Fortnite and a variety of other games, Blevins currently has 14 million followers on Twitch. He began streaming in 2011, originally with survival game H1Z1, swiftly moving on to battle royale title PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and later Fortnite, where he truly found his calling.

In addition to Twitch, Blevins also brings in revenue from his over 22 million subscribers on YouTube, where he posts videos recapping livestreams and other appearances he's made across various events in the gaming industry. His most recent upload, "The Next Chapter," is a promotional clip announcing his intention to make the move to Mixer. It amassed over 315,000 views in just two hours.

Though Mixer originally debuted in 2016, it hasn't managed to quite catch up to Twitch's massive popularity. Where Mixer claimed around 10 million monthly users in 2018, Twitch boasted over 100 million, partly thanks to Twitch's large stable of influential personalities such as Tfue, Dr DisRespect, Pokimane, and other streamers who regularly pull in impressive numbers for the platform.

But with Ninja jumping ship and making his way to Mixer, it makes sense that some of his streamer brethren could do much of the same, giving Mixer some serious leeway when it comes to becoming a haven for personalities that could one day rival Twitch. Blevins himself doesn’t plan on recruiting anyone to come to his platform, he told ESPN, instead noting that he "wanted his friends to make their own decisions for what platforms they choose to play on."

This could be Ninja's biggest conquest yet — blazing a path with a new streaming home just as he's about to debut a new book, a potential movie, and an amalgam of other events down the line.