Richard Blevins, better known as Tyler Blevins… Better known as Ninja, is a Twitch streamer from the United States who just so happens to be the most successful video game streamer in the game, something that has been solidified and really expanded upon thanks to a viral video that he posted with Drake recently showing the two playing the game Fortnite together. He has more than four million followers on Twitch and more often than not has a six-figure following every time he streams. Beyond his streams, he’s actually a pretty accomplished gamer, starting his career as a professional Halo 3 player back in 2009, playing for teams like Cloud9, Renegades, Team Liquid and his current team Luminosity Gaming. So, we thought we’d post the Top 10 facts about Ninja someone who has exploded to become the top gamer in the… Game.
10. He’s a Giver
This list shows you just how much money Blevins is making from his streams, from the income from the subscribers on Twitch, to the sponsorships that comes from that, he’s really making money hand over fist. He doesn’t just hoard that money, though, as his Wikipedia page mentions that he is a “well-known” philanthropist. Every month he donates money to pay for the surgeries that shelter animals have and in addition to that he also donates money to the Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In February of this year he held a charity stream that raised over $110,000 that was donated to the Foundation for Suicide Prevention and in March of this year he held a massive Fortnite tournament at the E-Sports Arena in Las Vegas for it’s opening. While most celebrities use those events to look like they’re donating to charity while using their fame to get people to donate in lieu of them actually spending any money, Blevins actually donated a lot of the money himself in addition to the people who donated (and the person who ended up winning $25,000 as well). That goes to show you that Blevins is actually a really great guy who is giving back to those that support him, and the animals that he loves.
9. He Credits his Personality/Skills for his Popularity
For someone who has never been onto Twitch, the sheer amount of people that are broadcasting their streams can be daunting. So, as a broadcaster, you really have to find a way to stand out in order to establish and grow an audience. There are countless ways that people can do this and you can tell that there are certain ways that people believe will do exactly that, as a lot of people obnoxiously scream while playing their games because that’s what they believe people want. However, what they fail to understand is that a lot of people watch game streams to be entertained and also to see someone compete at a level that they can’t (otherwise they’d be doing it themselves), which is something that differentiates Ninja from the herd. In an interview with CNBC, Ninja stated that in addition to his “goofy” personality (that includes “crazy shenanigans” and “impressions”), it’s the high level of gameplay that sets him apart from the average gamer. This list will show you just what it takes to actually get to that high level, but in the meantime you’d better sharpen up your impression game if you want to reach NInja levels of popularity, fame and riches.
8. He’s Been on Family Feud
Eagle-eyed mostly unemployed people with access to the internet about three years ago noticed that Blevins and his family were on Family Feud back in 2015. There were multiple Reddit posts in subs like /r/CompetitiveHalo and /r/FortniteBR that discussed Ninja’s time getting awkwardly introduced by Steve Harvey, the man responsible for reading the wrong Miss Universe. Ninja himself confirmed that he was in fact on the Feud, Tweeting:
— Ninja (@Ninja) July 15, 2014
Reddit user /u/xSpiceMeme420 must’ve seen a re-run of that episode about a month ago, posting to /r/FortniteBR that he also saw Ninja on the Feud. Luckily for us, he broke down Ninja’s time on the show, or at least part of it. Blevin’s family won the head-to-head and ended up going for the $20,000. Ninja was one of the two people in his family chosen to go for it and ended up winning the $20k with the final question, “Where are you most ticklish?”, Blevins answered: Belly (which was already taken) and then Feet. That was the number one answer and garnered 51 points. That $20k was divided among his family and was actually less than he’d make streaming on Twitch.
7. He has a Model for Getting into Streaming for a Living
While he clearly plays a lot of video games, namely Fortnite, for a living (for up to ten hours a day (see entry number 6)), he doesn’t suggest that you do the same, at least initially. Blevins is a rational guy and understands that he while he clearly had/has the work ethic needed to succeed at the industry that’s made him rich, that most people won’t have the same luck that he did and won’t end up making a living playing video games. Because of that, he suggests that people don’t quit their job or drop out of school to begin their streaming careers. In an interview with Redbull.com, Blevins said that one of his biggest pet peeves is hearing from people that they’re going to take a year off to focus on doing just that, saying:
“Some people joke about taking a year off to do full-time streaming, quitting jobs or school, and I’m like, ‘No,’ that’s the exact opposite of what you do”
He suggests that you actually continue your normal day-to-day while pursuing your streaming career, sacrificing sleep and time spent with your friends and family, just in case things don’t work out. That’ll allow people to continue at their job or with school, which is a great thing to say as the world’s most famous Twitch-er, especially now that he’s getting a ton of exposure thanks to Drake.
6. He Plays Fortnite 10 Hours a Day
While playing video games for a(n amazing) living sounds like a dream come true, it, like many other things in life, doesn’t come without a tremendous amount of work. In an apt interview with the energy drink Redbull, Ninja states that he’s honed his Fortnite skills by practicing/playing, a lot. “I play Fortnite at least 10 hours a day”, Blevins stated, which seems like a lot of work but considering how fun Fortnite is it could be a lot worse as that’s not outside the realm of what a lot of people consider a typical workday. That includes the time that he spends streaming, as well, per that interview as well as the time he spends offline honing his skills. While that’s his normal day-to-day now, he didn’t start his streaming career by immediately playing games for that many hours a day and in fact, he doesn’t suggest that people looking to get into streaming video games for a living do, either. While he clearly has a strong work ethic he suggests that anyone looking to get into the industry should keep their day job, or continue going to school. While that means that the thing you have to sacrifice is sleep and friends and family, it clearly was worth it for Blevins and even if it doesn’t work out for you as long as you communicate to your friends and family why you missed their birthday party or to your wife why you missed the birth of your child, you should be able to patch things up eventually.
5. He Gives Halo Credit for Changing his Life
Halo not only changed first-person shooters forever, but it also changed the life of Tyler Blevins as well as that was the game that his brother, John, purchased when Blevins was just a child. It was that game that he fell in love with and that his brother played incessantly, at least according to a recent interview that Blevins did with Redbull.com. In that interview, Blevins said that had it been any other game, perhaps he wouldn’t be where he is today, but because of the earth-shattering changes that Halo had, he decided then and there that he was going to pursue Video Games as a full-time job. Blevins said:
“I picked it up because I was watching him play all the time, and that was just the game that did it. It could have been Call of Duty and that would have changed my entire life, but he picked Halo and that was pretty much it. It was better than any other game at the time – it was everything.”
4. But… He Doesn’t Play Halo Anymore
Despite the fact that he credits Halo with changing his life and putting him on the path to become the most famous, and rich, gamer in the world (right now), he actually doesn’t play Halo anymore (including the most recent iteration). The original Halo games were created by the video game company Bungie, which no longer has the rights to the game. Halo is now created by the game studio 343 and because of the fact that the market was flooded with Halo copycats, at least according to Blevins, 343 felt the need to make changes to the game that they didn’t create in the first place. Those changes ended up making Halo… Not Halo anymore. Blevins said in a recent interview:
“I think to a certain point it was fun, but it wasn’t Halo. I think of the classic, slow, methodical Halo: no sprinting, a battle rifle, four shots, clean movement, no clamber and no jet pack – none of that. And 343 are sitting there and feeling they’ve got to change the game, so they add more stuff. It’s like the exact opposite, they had the formula where it was working – if it isn’t broke you don’t fix it, and that’s what they did.”
3. He Broke Twitch Records with Drake
Now, Ninja was an established and well known streamer before he broke Twitch records by playing Fortnite with Drake last week. That’s how and why he ended up playing with Drake in the first place. However, playing Fortnite with Drake completely smashed the previously held records on Twitch, so much so that it’s actually surprising that Twitch actually could handle all the traffic that Drake brought to the platform. Either way it was a major win for all involved, including Drake, as it showed that he was a regular person who can break the internet basically wherever he goes. So, let’s get to the records. The previous record for the most people watching a live stream was set by Dr DisRespect when he had 388,000 people watching his live stream. Drake and Ninja completely destroyed that record as they had 600,000 people watching them at the same time. Wow. It also helped Ninja’s following as he’s literally increased his subscriptions by double, adding over two million followers since the game with Drake (considering he gets $2.50 per subscription, he literally made five million dollars since last week… Wow). He’s been adding about 60,000 at the low end and over 100,000 people a day since the stream, meaning that he’s been adding between $150k and $275k a day since Drake reached out and decided to play Fortnite with him. Apparently Drake was a fan before they played together, reportedly watching him play on YouTube and Twitch and also Drake had been playing Fortnite for about two months before he joined as well.
2. His Following is Huge
SocialBlade.com is an objective third party website that keeps track of all sorts of social media information and really could end up being the end of a lot of social media personalities and even politicians in that it shows the real subscription numbers behind people as opposed to some of the numbers that have been inflated by (Russian) bots. When it comes to the topic at hand, it shows that Ninja is by far the largest person on Twitch, with 4.35 million followers on Twitch, and over 100 million channel views (which isn’t even close to the top in terms of channel views (it’s not even in the top 50), which means that his competition is simply producing more videos (his per video view number must be higher than theirs)). Created in January of 2016, Ninja has an A++ ranking, meaning that he has the highest regard in terms of followers and for not having any sort of shenanigans going on with bots or anything like that (as you can pay for followers that way to boost your followers). He’s also added 2.1 million followers in the past 30 days, actually, which means that he’s doubled his following in the past month, thanks to his stream with Drake.
1. He’s Rich!
It’s fairly obvious that Ninja is well off from his streams, but some may be surprised by the amount of money that he actually makes each month. Like most streamers, Blevins does a great job of diversifying his revenue stream, making money not only from the clicks his streams makes but also from his sponsors, affiliate marketing, and donations. Unlike YouTube, Twitch charges people to subscribe to (certain) channels. It’s $5 to subscribe to Ninja’s channel, something that is split 50:50 between Twitch and Blevins, meaning that he is receiving about $100,000 a month from new subscriptions alone (at $2.50 per subscription). Yikes. He also receives donations from his followers, and it’s been reported that he receives about as much money in donations as he does from subscriptions, meaning that he’s receiving about $100,000 a month in donations, as well. Ninja also brands himself well, meaning that you can buy all sorts of Ninja branded gear from his or the Twitch store, which is reported to bring in about another $100,000 to $200,000 a month as well. That doesn’t even begin to touch on his affiliate marketing plan on Twitch or his YouTube channel, which brings in even more money for the 26-year-old. So much for parents complaining about “wasting time” playing video games, eh?