With his long term future still up in the air, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins returned to Twitch earlier today for the first time in over a year, teaming up with Ben ‘DrLupo’ Lupo for the stream. It saw Ninja return to his old stomping ground playing Fornite, as well as a little bit of Call of Duty: Warzone.
The stream peaked at 98,000 viewers, noticeably lower than the 160,000 his YouTube stream pulled in, though we shouldn’t necessarily read too much into that. Ninja admitted at the end of the stream that he “couldn’t say too much on his future” with speculation rife over his destination, but the decision will be influenced by far more than the raw numbers of these two streams.
Despite having previously not streamed for a year and seven days on Twitch, Ninja remains comfortably the most followed streamer on the platform, with over 14 million. Though he didn’t enjoy the cleanest break when he left for Mixer, it’s likely Twitch would welcome his return.
Today’s 98,000 are not indicative of his usual Twitch numbers either. He frequently broke the 200,000 viewer barrier with his Fortnite streams, even surpassing a 600,000 for a stream with Drake, Travis Scott, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Interestingly, today’s numbers eclipsed Ninja’s Mixer debut too, which averaged just over 61,000 viewers and peaked around 85,000, according to these stats from Twitch Tracker.
Super early stream planned within 14 hours was a super success on twitch with @DrLupo I really missed this.
Also! JUST HIT AFFILIATE! pic.twitter.com/Nm5xZ98pBM
— Ninja (@Ninja) August 5, 2020
The previous YouTube stream and today’s Twitch stream are very different beasts, too. Today’s stream came much earlier in the day, with YouTube’s in a more primetime afternoon slot. YouTube’s felt more like an audition too, like Ninja was proving he can draw a crowd wherever he goes, reminding Twitch they have serious competition for his services and showing YouTube how big of a get he’d be. Today’s was more about generating buzz, about getting headlines for his return to Twitch, reminding the platform about the superstar they once had, and could soon have again, for the right price.
Ninja’s wife, Jessica Blevins, posted a poll to Twitter during the stream for a vote on Ninja’s preferred destination; as of now, Twitch sits on 72%, with Youtube on 16%, with Other platforms making up the rest.
Rod Breslau has reported that Ninja (and Shroud, who’s future is also up in the air post Mixer) is still deep in negotiations about his future, though both favour Twitch. However, Breslau does mention that Shroud “especially” prefers Twitch, meaning Ninja’s mind may not be made up just yet.
just as with Ninja's YouTube stream a few weeks back, today's Twitch stream is all on his own and no deal has yet been made. sources tell me both Ninja and shroud are still negotiating between treaming platforms with Twitch being the preferred choice (especially for shroud)
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 5, 2020
Regardless of where he ends up, it was clear today that Ninja misses streaming. He’s spoken recently about wanting to expand into Hollywood, but streaming is still very much in his heart. He told viewers that while he “can’t really say too much” in regards to his future, he did admit that today “solidified” his love of streaming, and that he’ll be “streaming again soon.” Expect a decision in near future.
Ninja also shared that Twitch messaged him after the stream to congratulate him on making Affiliate. I’m sure he’ll hit the big time some day.