Ninja: a name anyone on Twitch is familiar with, whether it’s the audience or the streaming entertainer themselves. Regarded as the “#1 Twitch streamer right now” according to socialblade.com, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is currently at the top of his game, most notably on his live streams on the widely popular game so far in 2018, Fortnite.
Many consider him as the best Fortnite player around and based on the live streams I have witnessed since I’ve subscribed to him last January 2018, I can totally see why. You may love him or hate him, but Ninja does a hell of a fantastic job playing the battle royale game. It’s like he knows everything about it; from the mechanics to the map layout, the strategies to apply during gunfights and accurate analytics. He sees the game as elementary in a good way— in a fun way, to be exact.
You can tell he’s not just playing Fortnite simply because he’s known for it or because people just want to see him play it, but rather he quite honestly has so much fun with the intense multiplayer game. And with his own bliss being brought into Fortnite, comes along viewers that are enticed with his survival skills as well as his own certain charm.
Strangers to the 26-year old live streamer may say, “Why do people like him so much?” or “He’s just playing Fortnite, what’s so good about that?” or even “I just think he’s pretty overrated.” It is quite understandable seeing people react like this because it is natural to society – when there is something or someone or even someplace that is considered number one, a handful of people will always diss it without fully experiencing or understanding why such certainty is at the top spot.
So, is Ninja really good that he gets covered in the news or that Canadian rapper Drake suddenly eyeballed him and hastily joined Tyler in one of his streams? Based on how much adoring fans he has, easily said, yes, he really is good. Not just good… REALLY good.
Just go to any live stream session he opens up; most likely he’ll be playing Fortnite (in which majority of his 4,902,236 followers look forward to). You should try to spend at least 20 minutes with him, from the beginning of the match to the oh-so nerve-racking 1v1 in the end. What makes his audience keep going back and stay for a long run? The answer—diversity.
By diversity, I mean every single match he makes is quite different from the one he played previously. It’s like he knows how to impress the audience very well by being spontaneous in his own actions—on one game, you would see him going close quarters, enclosing his own enemy inside a squared makeshift fort, to which he would crouch outside, anticipating his enemy to pickaxe his way out, and then executing him a la headshot. Another game you’d see him build a tower for himself, expecting the enemy to rush towards him with a flight of DIY stairs, in which Ninja would literally go ninja by quickly building a jump pad on the deck of the roof to escape the rushing enemy and suddenly sneak behind him with a shotgun to the back.
Spontaneous, creative, unpredictable, diverse – that is how any fan would describe his live streams, even before the battle royale sensation would become his trademark platform.
Some may say that he got his fans and sponsorship overnight just because he was playing a trending game that does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Ninja has been on the Twitch scene for seven years now and is mostly recognized for his Halo live streams. Not long after, in 2017, he picked up PUBG (as well as 70% of other top live streamers). Undoubtedly, he is a very skillful player, but when Epic Games announced Fortnite being a new battle royale game rather than just a tower-defense/horde survival co-op game, Ninja picked up the game as soon as it was released in Early Access.
From then on, the game mechanics have introduced him to new and exciting ways to wow the audience. Of course, him being a great player, he sought out to capitalize on his own skills and creativity via the gameplay of Fortnite. As the game became available for Free-to-Play, any Fortnite-savvy would look forward to his gameplay and take notes. He isn’t the most viewed Twitch streamer for nothing, right?
Here is an example of his creativity: Just look at how he rocket-rides on his own homing missile with zero effort. This was a clip taken from his April 2 stream.
It’s as if it was just another day at the office for him. Even someone who doesn’t play the game would still be impressed. Take note that the homing missile was only released last week and he only learned how to ride on his own rocket for just a few days – a Fortnite skill that a lot of players are still practicing.
So, what is the secret to his success?
The most important thing you can do is play more. But you need to understand it as well. Do not neglect your school, your work and your relationships to improve in a video game, unless this is your way of life unless this is your job.
A sound advice indeed. Judging by his constant enthusiasm for the game as well as the fun he shows without being forced to play, there is currently no stopping Ninja.
Ninja is also the first Twitch live streamer to receive 3 million followers and 150,000 paid subscribers. As of April 4, 2018, he has already hit 229,403 followers since the start of the month.