Fortnite streamer Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins has been revealed as the most watched channel in 2018 by total hours watched, beating out the likes of Riot Games, the Overwatch League and shroud.
Ninja has boomed in popularity in 2018, parallel to the success of his game of choice, Fortnite Battle Royale, and now comfortably sits atop the most followed channels chart with over 12 million.
He also broke the record for peak concurrent viewership for an individual streamer when he played Fortnite with Drake and Travis Scott – and then broke his own record shortly after with his Las Vegas Fortnite tournament, which peaked at over 660,000.
This number wasn’t enough to surpass the overall record however, which is held by ELEAGUE for the Boston CS:GO Major in January 2018 with over 1 million, but the records are separated as ELEAGUE is an organization rather than a solo streamer’s channel.
However, over the whole of 2018, Ninja has beaten out even Riot Games, developers of League of Legends (the most watched esport) in terms of raw hours watched.
In fact, Ninja more than doubles Riot Games, with 227 million hours watched according to The Esports Observer.
The top @Twitch channels of 2018:
:third_place_medal: @shroud https://t.co/rReNvBlCR8@overwatchleague has a strong first year, ending fourth in a list that spans a wide range of genres and channel types. pic.twitter.com/0HOCacwrlX
— The Esports Observer (@esportsobserved) December 29, 2018
Ninja has an obvious advantage over channels like Overwatch League and Riot Games, as he streams almost every day of the week, sometimes for over 12 hours, while these event channels stream significantly less, only broadcasting live matches during the competitive season.
Nonetheless, Ninja joked that given his incredible viewership figures – tripling the Overwatch League – he could be worth the same or more than the deal struck by Blizzard and Twitch.
It is believed that Twitch’s deal with the Overwatch League is worth $90 million over two years, the biggest exclusivity deal ever struck in esports.
So if overwatch league got paid 70 mil and I tripled their hours watched…. does that mean….. ?!?!?!
— Ninja (@Ninja) December 29, 2018
Ninja made clear that he was only joking in a reply, showing that he was deliberately stirring the pot.
He has already been under scrutiny recently, after adverts for his New Year’s Eve event began running on other streamer’s channels on December 28, sparking backlash against both Ninja and Twitch.