Gaming superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins announced today that he will be streaming on YouTube Gaming after the abrupt announcement of the upcoming shutdown of Microsoft’s streaming platform Mixer two weeks ago. He has not announced any details of a possible contract with the platform, however.
After Mixer’s announcement, Ninja took some time off streaming to figure out contract details before announcing where he would be going next, though most fans theorized that it would only be Twitch or YouTube, as he had reportedly denied an offer from Facebook Gaming.
Mixer will officially close down on July 22 with all existing partners being given offers to move over to Facebook Gaming. The move surprised many Mixer partners, as they learned about it after the official announcement.
Ninja had announced an exclusivity deal with Mixer on August 1, 2019, making the move from Twitch where he had streamed since the beginning of his career. The deal with Mixer was reportedly worth around $30 million for the streamer.
Ninja Will Stream on YouTube
In a surprise move, Ninja posted a link to his upcoming stream on YouTube Gaming.
Earlier in the week, Ninja raised eyebrows when he went live with a “test stream” on YouTube. The stream was labeled “Test” and featured only his upside-down camera.
Sources told Rod “Slasher” Breslau that Ninja has not yet signed an exclusive deal and is still negotiating with platforms. It’s possible he will stream on Twitch soon as well.
sources: Ninja is currently in negotiations with streaming platforms and no exclusive deal has yet been signed, including YouTube. today's YouTube live stream from Ninja is all on his own. maybe he'll stream on Twitch too.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 8, 2020
While there has been no official announcement yet, it’s possible that he will be announcing his exclusivity with YouTube once he’s live on the platform at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 8. The stream title for the upcoming stream, and Ninja’s first on YouTube, is “Ninja Live On YouTube-Fortnite with TimtheTatman, Courage and Dr Lupo.”
He first teased the upcoming announcement officially at noon ET, tweeting that he had an announcement coming in one hour. His wife, Jessica Blevins, retweeted the tweet with the comment “IT’S HAPPENING.”
There were over 13,000 people waiting for the stream to start minutes after Ninja tweeted the link to the video, and that number continued to grow as the stream time came closer.
Ninja Reportedly Opted Out of a Facebook Gaming Partnership
Richard Lewis reported that sources familiar with the deal told him that Facebook tried to keep Ninja, but he opted out and received full payment instead.
Esports reporter Rod “Slasher” Breslau posted a tweet about Ninja taking home around $30 million after opting out of the deal that was offered by Facebook Gaming due to Mixer paying out his contract.
“I love my community and what we built together on Mixer,” Ninja tweeted after the news came out. “I have some decisions to make and will be thinking about you all as I make them.”
Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek was also displaced by the Mixer shutdown, and he reportedly took home around $10 million. He has also not announced where he will be streaming next.
Fans and viewers speculated that Ninja would opt not to return to Twitch after perceived animosity between him and the company. Following his move to Mixer, Twitch changed his channel page to read “The Ninja you’re looking for is in another castle,” and it recommended other channels to watch, which Twitch did not do for any other streamer that left the platform.
His Twitch channel still has over 14 million followers, which is still by far the most on the platform, followed by Turner “Tfue” Tenney, who has 8.7 million and Shroud, who has 7.1 million.