Tyler “Ninja” Blevins isn’t the face of gaming like he was in 2018, but the streamer remains one of the most identifiable names in the space.
The stream that brought together Ninja with musical artist Drake was a seminal moment in Twitch history. The collab highlighted how big Twitch had become and established Ninja as the face of the platform. That night he gained mainstream notoriety, leading him to platforms like daytime talk shows and on-camera appearances at the Super Bowl.
Ninja’s career has taken some wild swings since then, and that has made it easy to lose track of the former Fortnite pro. Here’s what happened to Ninja, and what he’s up to today.
Who is Ninja?
Ninja is a professional gamer best known for being the top Fortnite streamer on Twitch during the game’s most popular years. He was long the benchmark of success on Twitch, owning the records for concurrent viewership and subscriptions on the platform for years.
Before Twitch, Ninja was more heavily involved in esports. He first broke out as a professional Halo player and later moved on to battle royales, including H1Z1 and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. He became one of the most recognizable names in Fortnite esports through the 2018 Fortnite Pro-Am event, which he won alongside Marshmello.
As Ninja’s profile on Twitch grew, he mostly pulled back from esports. He has competed in tournaments for games including Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Apex Legends on a sporadic basis. Ninja also had a notable run in Valorant esports, forming the team 100 Blifted in 2020. The team dissolved without notching any notable tournament wins.
What happened to Ninja?
Ninja has dealt with eye issues regularly since 2014 when he suffered a retinal detachment in his right eye. He stated that issue could have led to blindness and while he dodged that bullet, he’s had a number of other troubles related to that eye since.
In 2019 he discussed cataracts forming as a result of the treatments to repair his right eye. They were removed via laser surgery. Though his eye seems to be stable and his left eye hasn’t had any issues, Ninja said that the vision in his right eye has been seriously impacted by the ailment.
What was Ninja’s peak on Twitch?
Ninja hit his peak on Twitch in March 2018, surrounding his famous stream with Drake at the height of Fortnite’s popularity. The combination of a big-name recording artist, a popular streamer, and a surging game on Twitch resulted in multiple records that stood for years.
The stream with Drake allowed Ninja to hit 269,154 active subscribers on Twitch, a record that would stand for years before being broken by Ludwig “Ludwig” Ahgren in 2021. This stream also saw him set a personal best for concurrent viewership, hitting as high as 616,693 viewers.
These numbers aren’t uniquely high by modern standards, with various esports events pulling larger viewership and Kai Cenat breaking Ludwig’s active subscriber record in 2023. Ninja’s 2018 was still the pinnacle of success on Twitch for some time.
Has Ninja lost popularity?
Ninja’s popularity on Twitch has declined sharply from his peak, but he remains a prominent streamer in many ways.
Ninja’s visibility grew in early 2018 before peaking around his stream with Drake in March 2018. His numbers remained strong with anywhere from 75,000 to 200,000 average viewers until August 2018, at which point his viewership trended downward. He remained one of the largest names on Twitch throughout 2018 and 2019, but his departure to join Mixer in 2019 saw his channel go silent for some time.
He returned to Twitch in September 2020 and enjoyed strong viewership early on but the 70,000 average viewers from his official return stream dipped to around 10,000 within a month. In September 2022 Ninja made another significant move by dropping his Twitch Partner status. This allowed him to simultaneously stream across multiple platforms alongside his normal Twitch streams, something that few others have attempted.
Why did Ninja lose all his subscribers?
Ninja’s subscriber count plunged for a variety of reasons including increased competition within streaming and a general decline in Fortnite’s popularity on Twitch.
The duo stream with Drake pushed Ninja to amazing heights in 2018, but enormous jumps in subscriber counts tend to be fleeting. Streamers like Ludwig and popular VTuber Ironmouse were propelled to the top of Twitch thanks to subathon events, but their high subscriber counts dwindled immediately after they ended.
Ninja enjoyed breakout success through his Fortnite streaming at a time when Twitch was still growing in terms of its mainstream visibility. As more Twitch streamers rose in prominence and Fortnite’s popularity waned, Ninja’s subscriber count went down precipitously. He remains highly successful within the larger streaming world and still has a level of celebrity that few internet personalities can match, but that isn’t reflected in his active Twitch subscriber numbers.
What is Ninja’s net worth?
Ninja’s net worth is estimated to be over $30 million. The exact number is unknown, but the estimates draw from details surrounding Ninja’s contract with Mixer as well his income from Twitch’s standard monetization methods.
The bulk of Ninja’s net worth comes from his short tenure with Mixer. Though Ninja’s signing failed to boost Mixer’s viewership in a significant way, he reportedly made between $20 million and $30 million from the deal.
Exact figures regarding Ninja’s income during his time on Twitch are mostly unknown. In the massive 2021 Twitch leak, it was revealed that he made over $1.3 million from Twitch subscriptions, ad revenue, and Bit donations across a 25-month period. However, this stretch included Ninja’s time off the platform and did not include any money made through his deal with esports organization Luminosity Gaming, direct sponsorships, prize winnings from esports events, or microtransactions on the Epic Games Store.
Why did Ninja really leave Twitch?
Ninja has not specifically discussed why he left Twitch in 2019 or 2022, but the answer likely boils down to money and work-life balance.
Ninja has left Twitch on two occasions. The first came in 2019 when he left to stream on Microsoft’s short-lived Twitch rival, Mixer. The second came in 2022 when Ninja dropped his partnership with Twitch in order to simulcast his streams across a number of social media platforms including Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
He continued streaming on Twitch, but no longer had an exclusive deal with the platform. There was no in-depth explanation for his departure on either occasion but he hasn’t really hidden his issues with the platform, either.
Ninja is among the many influencers who have discussed the stress associated with constantly streaming. Many have discussed how streamers can suffer a swift, potentially irreparable decline if they aren’t constantly streaming. Ninja departing Twitch offered a greater degree of security and a lighter workload, even if he likely isn’t making as much money as he was at his peak.
Alongside this, Ninja’s mainstream visibility has made him a unique figure within the streaming world which has allowed him to make significant money even outside of Twitch. He signed a lucrative contract with Mixer in 2019, which was facilitated by his bona fide celebrity status. The move to walk away from his Twitch Partner status was possible due to his capacity to attract sponsors independently without having to rely on some of Twitch’s revenue-generating tools.
Though Ninja downplayed burnout troubles during his heyday, he discussed how he streamed 12 hours every day for years. Many streamers have discussed how streamers can suffer a swift, potentially irreparable decline if they aren’t constantly streaming. Ninja departing Twitch offered a greater degree of security and a lighter workload, even if he likely isn’t making as much money as he was at his peak.
Who is Ninja’s wife?
Ninja has been married to Jessica Blevins since 2017. The couple started dating in 2013.
Jessica Blevins served as Ninja’s manager for some time before he signed on with the prominent talent agency CAA in 2020. She joined CAA herself in 2021. Alongside this, she was a streamer and internet personality with over 400,000 followers on both Twitch and Twitter, and over 900,000 on Instagram.
There have been controversies surrounding Jessica Blevins that wound up involving Ninja. Jessica butted heads on social media with other notable streamers and personalities, most notably rival Fortnite streamer and pro players Turner “Tfue” Tenney. In 2022, she threatened to sue popular streamer Imane “Pokimane” Anys for defamation when Pokimane criticized Ninja for defending Jidon “JiDion” Adams. JiDion was banned permanently by Twitch after “hate-raiding” Pokimane’s channel
Is Ninja still on Twitch?
Ninja still streams on Twitch despite losing his partnership and dialing back on his overall hours streaming.
Starting in September 2022, Ninja began simultaneously streaming across a number of different social media platforms. Twitch typically demands exclusivity from Partner-status streamers which prevents them from broadcasting across multiple platforms at the same time, and often prevents them from streaming on other platforms at all.
Though this move lost Ninja his partnership, he wasn’t banned from Twitch. He remains on Twitch but doesn’t have any minimums to hit regarding hours on the platform. This means he doesn’t stream nearly as much as he did during his prime years, but he can still be seen multiple times each week.