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Ninja: First Esports Player Featured on ESPN Magazine Cover

Fortnite” streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the first professional esports player featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. The gaming-centric issue hits newsstands on Friday, Sept. 21.

Ninja made headlines earlier this year when he streamed himself playing “Fortnite” with rapper Drake. That broadcast gained over 600,000 concurrent viewers, setting a new Twitch record. He broke that same record again months later during a charity event in Las Vegas with a concurrent viewership of 667,000. Last month, he also became the first Twitch streamer to reach 10 million followers.

Ninja posted on Twitter Tuesday he’s excited to be the first professional gamer featured on the magazine’s cover. The cover and profile will appear on Sports Center on Wednesday during the 7 a.m. EST hour.

ESPN’s gaming issue has an in-depth feature on Ninja called “Living the Stream.” In it, general editor Elaine Teng explores how he maintains his non-stop streamer lifestyle. “Sunday in Jacksonville” tells the story of 24-year-old David Katz, who allegedly killed two people and wounded 11 others in a shooting during a “Madden NFL” tournament. ESPN said the piece is the “definitive story of what happened, why it happened, and what it means for the ‘Madden’ community and esports at large.”

Meanwhile, “Good Guide, Well Played” focuses on esports newcomers and which game is best suited for them. The magazine also takes a look inside the Sea Salt Suite, where members of the fighting game community go after EVO to unwind. Plus, in “Fortnite Dancing with the Stars,” Olympic skater and “Dancing with the Stars” champ Adam Rippon breaks down some of the battle royale game’s signature dance moves.

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