Photo: Youtube / Ninja, Business Insider
Image 1 33
Youtube / Ninja
- Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the most popular professional gamer in the world and reportedly earns more than $ 500,000 from live streams of his gameplay.
- Ninja’s success is intertwined with the popularity of “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” a free game with more than 200 million players worldwide.
- Ninja’s Twitch channel was the first to reach 10 million followers, and he boasts another 20 million YouTube subscribers.
- While Ninja began earning millions in 2018, he has been gaming competitively since 2009, focusing mainly on the “Halo” franchise.
2018 was a wild year for Tyler “Ninja” Blevins.
The 27-year-old became the first professional video game player to be featured on the cover of ESPN the Magazine, helped drop the ball in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and became the first streamer on Twitch to reach 10 million followers.
Those followers watch Ninja’s daily “Fortnite” streams religiously; Ninja plays for about 12 hours a day from his basement studio, accepting donations, interacting with his audience, and welcoming new subscribers throughout the session. The long hours help the world’s most famous professional gamer earn more than $ 500,000 a month.
Ninja’s meteoric rise to the top of the gaming world is intertwined with the massive popularity of “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” his game of choice. “Fortnite” is a free game with more than 200 million players worldwide, and Ninja is regarded by many as the best player on the planet, and certainly the most visible.
During the past month he’s gained an average of 12,457 followers a day on Twitch, and in the past, Ninja has streamed himself playing alongside major celebrities like rappers Drake and Travis Scott, and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. The extra attention has also stirred some controversy: Ninja vowed to stop swearing during his streams after he was criticized for casually rapping a racial slur during a broadcast.
Ninja’s big year showed just how much of an impact video games can have on pop culture, turning a longtime professional gamer into a celebrity in a matter of weeks. And Twitch projections show that Ninja’s online popularity is only growing.
Here’s everything you need to know about Ninja, the pro gamer who’s bringing streaming into the mainstream:
Ninja is one of the highest-paid personalities among Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and esports players.
YouTube / CNBC
In interviews with CNBC and CNN, Blevins confirmed he earns more than $ 500,000 a month from his more than 160,000 paid Twitch subscribers, which are separate from his 12 million followers on the same platform.
On Twitch, streamers net $ 2.50 for every subscription, which costs the viewer $ 5 a month and gets them exclusive emotes and badges while allowing them to view the stream without ads. Meanwhile, simply following a streamer is free, but doesn’t come with any perks. Viewers can leave “tips” and donations for streamers while they broadcast, though, and Ninja says he once received a $ 40,000 donation.
Ninja also makes money from his 20 million YouTube subscribers, and additional sponsorship deals.
Ninja’s subscriptions have ballooned in the days since the interview, so it’s safe to say that he makes much more now — even without accounting for the likely rise in tips from Twitch viewers.
Ninja’s newfound fame helped him earn sponsorships and big opportunities.
With millions of viewers pouring in daily, Ninja has an audience that is the envy of broadcasters and advertisers alike. Ninja has formed partnerships with a variety of companies including Red Bull, Uber Eats, and NZXT. While some of the deals are straightforward, like his unique discount codes on Uber Eats, others come with added perks.
In October, Red Bull helped Ninja build a state-of-the-art streaming studio in his basement. In addition to installing more than $ 20,000 in broadcast equipment, the studio was custom made to fit Ninja’s growing personal brand.
Ninja’s brand has also been boosted by appearances on popular TV shows like “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and ESPN’s “E:60.” He became the first professional gamer to grace the cover of “ESPN the Magazine” in October.
Ninja spends most of his time playing “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” the internet’s favorite video game right now.
Screenshot / Ninja
Ninja’s success is intertwined with the ongoing popularity of “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” a shooter game in which a hundred online players are dropped onto an island where they mine for materials, build structures, find supplies, and kill each other until a single player is left standing, similar to the dystopian arena game described in the “The Hunger Games” books and movies.
It stands as the most-watched game on Twitch by a lot, and “Fortnite” creator Epic Games reports that the game has seen 200 million players worldwide. While packages with the full version of “Fortnite” start at $ 39.99, the “Battle Royale” game mode is free to play on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile (both iOS and Android).
MORE FROM BUSINESS INSDER