After the most popular Fortnite streamer, Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins found himself at the center of controversy over reporting opponents in game, fellow streamers have stepped up to defend him against what is now being seen as a conspiracy to ruin his career.
Ninja first received heat after wrongfully reporting a player for stream sniping, which he later apologized for, but not before many fans believed that Epic would take Ninja's reports and act upon them immediately.
The Fortnite community, particularly on Reddit, accused Epic Games of allowing Ninja to wield too much power, with his reports on any player leading to a ban - despite this not being the case.
Just as this controversy appeared to settle, another, seemingly more egregious example on Ninja wrongfully reporting a player for "having a higher ping than me" surfaced on Reddit, with the player who Ninja had reported apparently banned a few days later.
However, as the Reddit post reached over 40,000 upvotes in 6 hours, a representative from Epic Games commented to state that the player who Ninja reported and the player who was banned, were actually different accounts entirely.
It became clear that a group of players had organized to make it look as though the account which Ninja reported for high ping had in fact been banned, simply by changing account names, as DrLupo explained.
Just got caught up on Reddit drama. Someone account name swapped to try to incriminate @Ninja and make it look like Epic bans whoever he reports. Person was caught talking about "ruining his career."
Imagine being that jealous of someone.
— DrLupo (@DrLupo) November 18, 2018
Update: Ninja himself has also now spoken on the controversy, saying that many on Reddit will still believe the player was banned because of Ninja's report, not seeing DrLupo's Tweet.
Worst part is the majority of people who saw that reddit post wont see what you just tweeted and will continue to think he was banned. https://t.co/TVMee3LNrd
— Ninja (@Ninja) November 18, 2018
Fellow streamer Jack 'CouRage' Dunlop said that people are always looking for a way to tear down those on top, saying fans will now focus on that small incident and not the rest of Ninja's streaming.
TimTheTatman agreed, saying that although Ninja may have been in the wrong by reporting that player, there are many more instances of accepting a death and congratulating the opponent for playing well.
And it sucks cause people will mainly focus on the that 30 second bad clip rather than a bunch of “good” clips (i. e. him saying someone was good when killing him etc)
— timthetatman (@timthetatman) November 18, 2018
TSM member HighDistortion recalls that the Reddit community performed a similar witch hunt against Mr. Grimmmz during his height of popularity playing PUBG, calling them 'clowns'.
Reddit did the same shit to grimmz when he was on top of pubg. They absolutely love being over dramatic to hate on whoever is at the top. Bunch of clowns
— TSM HighDistortion (@HighDistortion) November 18, 2018
Luminosity's SypherPK was similarly dismissive of Reddit users' attempts to tarnish Ninja's reputation, saying they were plotting and labelling it "pathetic."
It was clear that before Epic Games cleared up the confusion, many Redditors took it as absolute truth that the player had been banned directly because of Ninja's report, and some even after accused Epic of just trying to cover it up.
Streamer Imane 'Pokimane' Anys expressed concern at how easily people believe what is posted to Reddit and shared on social media.
it's scary to see how quickly people believe that stuff though >_<
— pokimane (@pokimanelol) November 18, 2018
For now, it seems that Ninja is trying his best to ignore these attempts to attack his reputation, and is continuing to stream and produce content as normal.
Epic Games is also compensating users who were wrongly banned, and are looking into changing the in-game reporting system, to prevent misuse.