Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is a renowned American streamer, professional gamer, and internet personality best known for his skills in games like “Fortnite” and his dynamic presence on platforms like Twitch and Mixer.
Tyler Blevins was born on June 5, 1991, in the Detroit area of Michigan and is of Welsh descent. He relocated to the suburbs of Chicago with his family as a baby and later attended Grayslake Central High School.
Growing up, gaming was more than just a hobby for Blevins; it was a passion. From a young age, he was drawn to video games, spending countless hours mastering his skills and competing with his friends. This fervor for gaming not only shaped his childhood but would also carve the path for his future career.
Ninja’s professional career began in earnest when he started competing in tournaments for games like “Halo 3.” His exceptional skills and strategic gameplay quickly made him a well-recognized figure in the eSports community. As eSports gained more attention in the mainstream media, so did Blevins, with his early affiliations with teams such as Cloud9, Team Liquid, and Renegades.
However, it was with the rise of “Fortnite” that Ninja’s popularity skyrocketed. His colorful commentary, unparalleled gaming skills, and engaging personality made him the go-to streamer for millions wanting to see high-level “Fortnite” gameplay. The pinnacle of this newfound fame was perhaps his record-breaking stream in March 2018, where he played “Fortnite” with celebrities like Drake and Travis Scott, shattering Twitch’s concurrent viewer record at the time.
Esports and Streaming Evolution
Starting his professional journey in 2009 with Halo 3, Blevins associated with teams like Cloud9, Renegades, Team Liquid, and eventually, Luminosity Gaming. He ventured into streaming in 2011, exploring games like H1Z1 and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. By 2017, he was with Luminosity, initially as a Halo enthusiast and then delving into PUBG, even clinching victory at the PUBG Gamescom Invitational Squads in August 2017.
As Fortnite Battle Royale made its debut, Blevins swiftly moved to stream it post the PUBG Invitational. His popularity surged alongside Fortnite’s late 2017 to early 2018 fame. By March 2018, his Twitch following catapulted from 500,000 to over 2 million. That same month, he achieved a milestone by becoming the first Twitch streamer to breach 3 million followers. His fame peaked during a Fortnite session with celebrities like Drake and Travis Scott, drawing an astonishing 635,000 concurrent viewers.
Epic Games, recognizing the potential, organized a charity event in June 2018 at E3, partnering streamers with celebrities. Blevins teamed up with Marshmallow, the electronic music sensation, and clinched victory. That year, he collaborated with Red Bull Esports, resulting in exclusive Fortnite events and the release of a Red Bull can adorned with his image by April 2019.
Blevins and Fortnite seemed to grow hand in hand. In 2018, he pocketed nearly US$10 million, while Fortnite’s creators raked in over US$3 billion. His contribution to the game was celebrated by Epic Games, introducing a Ninja-themed outfit in January 2020.
In an interesting twist, in February 2019, Blevins received US$1 million from Electronic Arts to endorse Apex Legends, a rival to Fortnite. In August 2019, in a surprise move, Ninja left Twitch to stream exclusively on Mixer, a competing platform owned by Microsoft. Though Mixer would eventually shut down, this move showcased Ninja’s influence in the gaming and streaming community. Following the closure of Mixer in 2020, Blevins took a short hiatus before returning to his roots on Twitch.
In a dramatic move on September 1, 2022, Blevins renamed his social profiles to “User Not Found,” hinting at a sabbatical. But, by September 8, 2022, he announced a multi-platform streaming comeback, spanning Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
Over the years, Ninja has expanded his brand beyond streaming. He’s authored books, been featured in commercials, collaborated with major brands for merchandise, and even made guest appearances on television shows.
Notable Appearances and Collaborations
Blevins, along with his family, graced the game show Family Feud in 2015 and later made a celebrity comeback on the show in August 2019.
September 2018 was a milestone moment for Blevins as he became the first esports professional to adorn the cover of ESPN The Magazine, signifying his leap into mainstream sports recognition.
Collaborating with Astralwerks in October 2018, Blevins introduced an album, “Ninjawerks: Vol. 1,” which showcased original tracks by various electronic music artists. This album saw its release on December 14, 2018.
Blevins’ rising popularity led him to be featured in YouTube Rewind 2018. Notably, he made a cameo in the NFL’s “The 100-Year Game” commercial during Super Bowl LIII in 2019, the only figure without any direct football association.
His association with Random House led to several book publications. One notable release was “Get Good: My Ultimate Guide to Gaming,” brought out on August 20, 2019, by Clarkson Potter, a Random House imprint.
In a unique twist, Blevins took part in Fox’s reality show The Masked Singer during its second season, performing as “Ice Cream.” Despite an early exit after renditions of “Whip It” and “Old Town Road,” he expressed his motivation to join the show stemmed from his wife’s fondness for it.
In 2022, further extending his influence, Blevins collaborated with MasterClass, devising a 30-day course guiding aspiring individuals on successful streaming techniques.
Ninja’s net worth was estimated to be around $40 million. His income streams have diversified from just streaming revenues to include sponsorships, brand collaborations, merchandise sales, and even book deals.
Throughout his career, Ninja has garnered numerous accolades:
Ninja's social media presence is vast and influential. He boasts millions of followers across various platforms from his handle @ninja: