The decline of Ninja on Twitch – and why he won’t care
Tyler ‘Ninja‘ Blevins was, at one time, by far the biggest streamer, not just on Twitch, but anywhere. However, over the past 12 months, his viewership has taken a massive shift downwards – but is it all bad? Here are the stats behind Ninja’s “decline”, but why it’s not something he’ll be concerned about.
At the peak of his popularity on Twitch, in mid-2018, Ninja broke the record for most active subscribers at over 250,000. This record has since been beaten, but at the time, it was a monumental number – no one else had even crossed 100,000 before that.
He also broke the record for most concurrent viewers for a solo streamer, when he played alongside Drake and Travis Scott.
As he continued his meteoric rise, he became by far the most-followed streamer on the platform (he still is), but his momentum was stopped when he moved to Mixer.
The now-defunct streaming platform from Microsoft paid big bucks to secure the signatures of Ninja and shroud, at the time Twitch’s two biggest names.
After the platform shut down, Ninja took a break from streaming for around a month and even fired up a YouTube stream to test the waters before returning to Twitch. He immediately reclaimed his spot as the most followed channel – but Twitch, and livestreaming in general, had changed in that time.
Ninja’s 2021 Twitch stats
In the last 6 months, Ninja has averaged 12,672 viewers on his channel – a 49% decrease on the six months prior. This is a big drop regardless, but to make this stat even worse, Ninja has actually streamed for 893 hours – a 139% increase.
There are probably three main reasons for this.
Ninja is a former Halo pro, and gained some popularity playing PUBG too, but of course, it was Fortnite that took him to the top.
He has barely played Fortnite in 2021, only recently making a return with a few streams in May. Instead, he has spent the vast majority of his time streaming Valorant and League of Legends. Although Ninja is a talented gamer, these two categories are filled with players who are undeniably more skilled, as well as big streamers who have made their name on these games.
When Ninja blew up in 2018, he almost single-handedly made livestreaming as mainstream as it is today. As a result, thousands of hopeful streamers flocked to Twitch and YouTube, and the space is more competitive than ever.
Ninja is now part of the ‘veteran’ crowd, alongside the likes of Summit1g, LIRIK, Sodapoppin, and shroud. These are all streamers who boast dedicated audiences, who will watch them stream almost any game – but they’re not new and shiny, and so their viewership is capped to their most dedicated of fans.
Lack of new games
One often overlooked aspect, that is out of Ninja’s control, is the lack of new, blockbuster multiplayer games. Warzone and Valorant are the most recent, and both of them are a year old or more already.
It stands to reason that if a new multiplayer game released, either battle royale or competitive shooter, Ninja might shoot to the top of the charts at launch. But, with the status quo as it is, Ninja isn’t at the ‘top’ of any of the current games, and instead is just a big name, dabbling in various titles.
Why Ninja won’t care
It’s easy to look at these stats and assume that Ninja will be disappointed to be averaging less than 15,000 viewers. But, he may in fact be very pleased. Not because of the decline, but because he has now whittled down his viewership to only the most loyal and supportive – the core group of fans who would watch him play pretty much anything.
At the peak of his viewership, in 2018 and 2019, Ninja enjoyed unrivaled fame, but also unrivaled scrutiny. Any opinions or comments he made would be analyzed by fans, streamers, and the media for days. Huge backlash over his complaints about stream sniping, streaming with women, sport, gaming – if Ninja said it, someone would be there to criticize him.
- Read More: Ninja is done playing Fortnite competitively
Now, he is in a much more comfortable spot, where he can play any game he pleases, enjoy reduced scrutiny on his every move, and still attract a loyal viewership of over 10,000.
He might not be the number one streamer anymore, but he’s in a position that most streamers probably still envy greatly.