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Ninja (streamer)

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Ninja at Lollapalooza.jpg
Ninja at Lollapalooza in Chicago, August 2018
Personal information
BornRichard Tyler Blevins
(1991-06-05) June 5, 1991 (age 27)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.[1]
  • Twitch streamer
  • Professional gamer
  • YouTuber
Home townGrayslake, Illinois
Twitch information
Also known asNinjasHyper
Teams played forCloud9
Team Liquid
Luminosity Gaming
Followers12+ million
Total views380+ million
Follower and view counts updated as of December 9, 2018.

Richard Tyler Blevins[2] (born June 5, 1991), more commonly known by his online alias Ninja or NinjasHyper, is an American Twitch streamer and Internet personality. As of December 2018, he is the most followed streamer on Twitch with over twelve million followers and an average of over 53,000 viewers per stream.[3][4]

Early life

Blevins was born Richard Tyler Blevins to American parents of Welsh descent.[5] Though born in the Detroit area, he moved with his family to the Chicago suburbs when he was a year old.[6] Blevins' youth in the Chicago suburbs included video games and sports. He attended Grayslake Central High School, where he played soccer, and was also an avid video game player. Upon graduation, he decided to play video games professionally, entering tournaments, joining professional organizations, and live streaming his games.[7]


Blevins began playing Halo 3 professionally in 2009.[8] He played for various teams including Cloud9, Renegades, Team Liquid,[9] and is currently with Luminosity Gaming.[10] Blevins became a streamer in 2011.[6] He began playing H1Z1, then moved to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. He joined Luminosity Gaming in 2017 first as a Halo player, then to H1Z1, later moving to PUBG, where he won the PUBG Gamescom Invitational Squads classification. He began streaming Fortnite regularly and his viewership began to grow, which coincided with the game's growth in popularity.[9] In September 2017, he had 500,000 followers; in six months, that number grew by 250 percent.[11] In March 2018, Blevins set the Twitch record for a single individual stream while playing Fortnite after he hosted a game with Drake, Travis Scott, and Juju Smith-Schuster.[12] In April 2018, he broke his own viewing record during his event Ninja Vegas 2018 where he accumulated an audience of 667,000 live viewers.[13]

Blevins has over 17 million subscribers on YouTube as of September 2018. He earns over $500,000 per month from streaming Fortnite, and credits the game's free-to-play business model as a growth factor.[14]

On June 17, 2018, Blevins announced that he had partnered with Red Bull Esports. He also mentioned in the announcement that fans could challenge him at a special Fortnite event called the "Red Bull Rise Till Dawn" in Chicago on July 21, 2018.[15]

In September 2018, Blevins became the first professional eSports player to be featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine, marking a breakthrough into mainstream sports fame.[16][6]

Ninja announced a deal with the record label Astralwerks in October 2018 to compile an album titled Ninjawerks: Vol. 1 featuring original songs by electronic music acts including Alesso, Nero, Tycho and 3LAU.[17][18][19] The album will be released in December 2018.[20]

Charitable work

In a fundraising charity stream held in February 2018, Blevins raised over $110,000 to be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.[21] During the first Fortnite Battle Royale Esports event in April 2018, Blevins gave away nearly $50,000 in prize money, with $2,500 of that going to the Alzheimer's Association.[22] Later in April, he participated in the #Clips4Kids event with other fellow streamers Dr.Lupo and Timthetatman, and in total, he helped raise over $340,000.[23] At E3 2018, Blevins and Marshmello won the Fortnite Pro-Am event and donated $1 million to a charity of their choice.[24]

Personal life

Blevins' family was featured in several episodes of the television game show Family Feud in 2015. According to The Brillion News, Blevins was the reason he and his team were able to make it onto the show.[25]


Blevins stated in an interview at a Samsung event with Polygon that he does not stream with female gamers out of respect for his marriage and to avoid the rumors that the streaming could create.[26] He received mixed reactions; some said that he should set the example and not make it more difficult for female streamers to rise to prominence, while others supported his stance, claiming that he should be allowed to do what he wants to protect his marriage.[27][28] Blevins issued a response to the critics, reaffirming his support for gender equality and restating his commitment to his marriage, this time mentioning some prominent female streamers by name.[29] He has also made clear that women are welcome to play with him in a group or at events, saying that such situations allow him to "control the narrative more, without stupid drama and rumors flooding into our lives."[6]

In addition, on March 27, while in a stream with Nadeshot, he played and rapped out Logic’s 44 More. In the process of rapping, however, he used the word ‘nigga’ while attempting to rap out the song lyrics, which originally did not include the word ‘nigga’. It sparked controversy across his watching community and the public.[30]

Around mid-November, while Ninja was streaming with his friend, he was shot dead in-game by a user named IcyFive. After he died, his friend commented on the situation by saying to ‘watch out for the emote’. This was because it was a common situation to celebrate by using an in-game dance (known as an emote) after killing notable players such as Ninja. After he said it, the player instantly danced. Ninja, being revengeful, reported the player for ‘stream sniping’. This meant to follow a famous player and track and hunt them down while them being in-game, this gaining fame in-stream. However, this was clearly not the case in this situation. The situation was met with backlash because of Ninja's false accusations of the player. The player then responded with a series of tweets to reply on the situation.[31]


  1. ^ "How Fortnite star Ninja became a rabid Detroit Lions fan". Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  2. ^ "Ninja on Twitter". Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  3. ^ "The Most Followed Twitch Streamers, September 2018". Archived from the original on October 27, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  4. ^ "Top 10 Twitch Streamers". Archived from the original on October 27, 2018. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "H3 Podcast #63 - Ninja". H3 Podcast – via YouTube.
  6. ^ a b c d Teng, Elaine (September 18, 2018). "Living the Stream". ESPN The Magazine. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  7. ^ Keilman, John (August 2, 2018). "He's got celebrity pals, millions of fans and (probably) millions of dollars: Meet Ninja, Chicago's 'Fortnite' superstar". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on August 5, 2018. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  8. ^ Montag, Ali (March 20, 2018). "How this 26-year-old went from working at a fast food joint to making $500,000 a month playing video games". CNBC. Archived from the original on July 20, 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Leslie, Callum (March 16, 2018). "How much money does Ninja make?". Dot Esports. Archived from the original on March 18, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  10. ^ "Ninja Pulls Off Insane Save After Accidentally Impulse Grenading Himself". Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  11. ^ Meade, Dylan B. (February 27, 2018). "What the Hell Happened: Ninja's Twitch Takeover". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  12. ^ Patrick Gill, Christopher Grant, Ross Miller, and Julia Alexander (March 15, 2018). "Drake sets records with his Fortnite: Battle Royale Twitch debut". Polygon. Archived from the original on March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  13. ^ "Ninja's Vegas Fortnite event breaks Twitch viewing record - VG247". VG247. April 23, 2018. Archived from the original on April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  14. ^ Kim, Tae (March 19, 2018). "Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins explains how he makes more than $500,000 a month playing video game 'Fortnite'". CNBC. Archived from the original on March 21, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  15. ^ "{title}". Archived from the original on June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  16. ^ Fogel, Stefanie (September 18, 2018). "Ninja: First Esports Player Featured on ESPN Magazine Cover". Variety. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  17. ^ Bein, Kat (October 26, 2018). "Ninja Partners With Astralwerks to Release Upcoming 'Ninjawerks' Album". Billboard. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  18. ^ Cameron, John (November 29, 2018). "Alesso, Tycho and 3LAU Share Clips of New Music from Ninjawerks". Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  19. ^ EDM.COM STAFF (4 December 2018). "NERO share first song in 2 years ahead of Twitch star Ninja's Compilation". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  20. ^ "NinjaWerks Digital Album (Preorder)". Team Ninja. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  21. ^ Becht, Beth Heyn and Eli (February 20, 2018). "Tyler Blevins 'Ninja': Everything You Need to Know". Archived from the original on March 21, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  22. ^ "Who Won Ninja Vegas '18? Full Roundup Including Highlights and Results". Twin Galaxies. Archived from the original on April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  23. ^ "Incredible Generosity of the Gaming Community Raises Huge Amount of Money For Charity - Ninja, Dr Lupo and More". Dexerto. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  24. ^ Goslin, Austen (June 12, 2018). "Ninja and Marshmello win Epic's E3 2018 Fortnite Pro Am". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  25. ^ Pantzlaff, Andrew (February 12, 2015). "Survey Says: Brillion natives win big on Family Feud". The Brillion News. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  26. ^ Frank, Allegra (August 14, 2018). "Ninja explains his choice not to stream with female gamers". Polygon. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  27. ^ Haasch, Palmer (August 13, 2018). "Twitch streamers have mixed reactions to Ninja's choice to not play with female streamers". Polygon. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  28. ^ "Fortnite: Ninja won't play with female gamers". BBC. Archived from the original on August 18, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  29. ^ "Ninja responds to criticism of his refusal to stream with women". Polygon. Archived from the original on August 17, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  30. ^ Hernandez, Patricia. "Top Twitch Streamer Ninja Rapped A Slur, Leading To A Familiar Conundrum [Update: Ninja Apologizes]". Kotaku. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  31. ^ "Ninja Reports 'Fortnite' Player for Stream Sniping and Later Apologizes". WWG. Retrieved 2018-11-30.

External links