Okay, it’s time to say it: Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is back to his Twitch best, clocking up entertaining stream after entertaining stream in recent weeks and, funnily enough, it’s all thanks to how angry League of Legends is making him.
Yep, you heard that right — toxic Ninja is back.
The streamer has made a major effort to shed that persona, but there isn’t an internet resident around that wouldn’t recognize Ninja’s outbursts, and his now-iconic “the f**k you say to me you little sh*t!?” rant to a young Fortnite fan.
Ninja’s ironic peals of laughter, demands for the kid to “shut his mouth,” and the Twitch star suggesting his teammate “sounds like a girl” basically sits in the internet hall of fame, for better or worse.
It was this sharp, witty, and very angry Ninja many tuned in to see.
Sure, plenty loved to hate Ninja back in mid-2019, but you don’t get to 270k subs — a mammoth record that stood for three years before Ludwig bowled it over earlier this month — without having haters as well as fans.
And now, the re-emergence of Ninja’s “toxic” streak, sparked by a hefty League of Legends grind, finally feels like a return to form for the streaming superstar.
Now, don’t get me wrong, no one’s agreeing with angry Ninja.
He’s furious a lot of the time, blames teammates for mistakes, and regularly breaks the League of Legends summoner’s code with toxic remarks and abuse. It’s a surprise the star hasn’t been banned from more LoL accounts.
- Read More: Ninja vows not to play Fortnite again
But for some reason, as Ninja descends into the madness of the ranked grind every LoL player shares a love-hate relationship with, you just can’t help but watch.
In one stream, the blue-haired star spent nearly 10 minutes demanding his teammates “quit for good”. He barely touched his mouse, instead demanding they “leave,” telling them they’ll “stay Silver,” and letting those fingers fly on the keyboard in what can only be described as a meltdown.
He described, in detail, how badly he’d been “penetrated,” and dubbed his support “the worst player I’ve ever seen in my life” after a solo death.
Myself, and nearly 7,700 other viewers, just couldn’t look away.
In another, Ninja re-enacted his cringe-worthy New Year’s Eve floss attempt. He regularly explodes in vitriol against his teammates, whether they’ve made a mistake or not, and yells at every failure — his own included — in a high-pitch voice.
Recently, he even rage quit his entire broadcast, immediately exiting both League of Legends and Twitch after an entirely avoidable 1v2 death.
Ninja’s explosive outbursts, which recently went viral, evokes another popular League of Legends streamer: Tyler Steinkamp, aka the notorious Tyler1.
Between April 2016 and January 2018, Steinkamp found himself on the wrong end of a Riot Games mandated permaban. He was locked out of the developer’s flagship title for repeated offenses, having racked up more than 22 banned player accounts.
Tyler1 has shown Ninja the path back to the top: tongue-in-cheek rage.
It’s come at the right time for Blevins too. When he returned to Twitch he was cracking 40k viewers on his streams, according to TwitchTracker. Nine months later, he’d dipped to under 10,000 average viewers for the first time since November 2017. His switch to League of Legends, and the toxicity that’s come with it, has already pinged him back to more than 11,000 so far this month.
Will it actually push Ninja back into the Twitch elite post-Mixer? Well, we’ll have to see, but one thing’s for sure; it’s going to be one hilarious ride.