×

‘Fortnite’ Streamer Ninja Breaks Concurrent Record (Again), Talks Being Famous

Popular “Fortnite” streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins broke the record for most concurrent viewers on Twitch last week, topping out at 667,000 viewers, ESPN reports in an interview with the newly famous personality. Blevins held the previous record when he streamed “Fortnite” with rappers Drake and Travis Scott to over 600,000 people.

Last Wednesday, Blevins took the stage at the Esports Arena in the Luxor Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, playing the massively successful free-to-play battle royale game against other top-level “Fortnite” players. Participants paying $75 USD each to play three games were given the chance to track down and kill Blevins’ character, winning $2,500 if they could find him and another $2,500 if they took him down. Across nine games, the streamer was able to win one game and took second place in two others.

Blevins has been at the forefront of “Fortnite’s” meteoric rise in recent months. But even with all eyes on him now, Blevins tells ESPN he doesn’t feel different.
“I don’t feel famous. I still have to pick my dog’s s— up when I go outside. I’m just a guy gaming. It feels good and I’m definitely starting to feel and think about things different, but it’s just a professional thing,” he told the outlet.

That’s not to say Blevins hasn’t been without his controversy. In March, during a stream, the personality appeared to drop a racial slur while rapping along with Logic’s song “44 More” – a song that doesn’t have any slurs in its lyrics. Blevins apologized for the event on Twitter.

Despite this issue, Blevins says he wants to use his popularity and the popularity of “Fortnite” for good. And he wants to see it continue to grow.

“Bigger, better, more. That’s all I want to do, use this, grow as much as possible and spread a positive message,” he told ESPN. “I wouldn’t say there will be a pro league built around me, but I would love to be able to throw events like this – bigger, better, I’m talking a stadium.”

“I did not think [starting to play ‘Fortnite’] would be here, ever. That’s just because, I don’t think a game has ever done this. You have popular esports games like ‘League of Legends’ and those are obviously super popular and competitive, but a game that’s gone viral and infected the world, really, especially with a younger audience, it hasn’t happened since ‘Minecraft,’ in my opinion,” Blevins also said.

“Fortnite” was released by developer-publisher Epic Games in July of 2017 after six years of development. The cooperative survival game was met with middling reviews until it added a standalone battle royale mode, made popular by “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” in September of the same year. The inclusion turned “Fortnite” into a massive success, making $126 million in February alone.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Apple Arcade

    Apple Officially Launches Apple Arcade Game Subscription Service

    Apple officially cut the ribbon for its new game subscription service Thursday: Priced $4.99 per month, Apple Arcade offers unlimited access to over 100 exclusive games. Apple Arcade was released alongside iOS 13, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Some of the titles available through the subscription package include “Lego Brawls” from Lego [...]

  • Venn co-founders

    VENN Raises $17 Million to Launch a Cheddar-like TV Network for Gaming

    Video game industry veterans Ariel Horn and Ben Kusin have raised a massive $17 million seed funding round to launch a new gaming-focused TV network called VENN. Short for Video Game Entertainment and News Network, VENN wants to mix esports with Twitch-style video game streaming and other gaming-related entertainment content when it launches in 2020. [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    The Game Awards 2019 Sets December Date, Will Live-Stream Across 45 Platforms

    The Game Awards 2019, the fifth annual video game industry kudosfest, will be held Dec. 12 in Los Angeles and will be live-streamed for free again on more than 45 different platforms worldwide. The Game Awards is an annual celebration of video games and the people who make them, created and executive produced by Geoff [...]

  • HTC Vive Cosmos

    HTC Replaces HTC Vive With New $699 Vive Comos VR Headset

    HTC is getting ready to retire the headset that was central to its expansion into the virtual reality market 3 years ago: The company announced on Thursday that its new Vive Comos headset will effectively replace the original HTC Vive, which was first released in April of 2016. “It was time to upgrade our consumer [...]

  • Sohu logo

    China's Sohu Seeks Games Consolidation With $500 Million Bid for Changyou

    Sohu, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is offering to buy out its games subsidiary Changyou in a deal that values Changyou at $532 million. Both companies currently have their shares listed on NASDAQ, but if the deal goes ahead Changyou would lose its separate stock listing. Sohu, which has interests covering search, digital advertising and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content