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Time Magazine Names ‘Ninja’ One of World’s 100 Most Influential People

Time Magazine named professional gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins as one of its top 100 most influential people in the world.

Ninja’s profile was penned by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and details an account that found Smith-Schuster playing “Fortnite,” the game Ninja is most popular for streaming, along with the influencer.

“I was among the millions of people all across the world who had been watching Ninja play ‘Fortnite, ‘the popular video game, every day for months,” wrote Smith-Schuster for his entry. “He was the unquestioned best in the world at his craft, something I had so much respect for both as an athlete and as a fan. Now, he was single-handedly blending gaming and pop culture.”

Smith-Schuster noted he had always been a fan of gaming his whole life, lamenting that for most of that time, people had seen it as “childish” or a waste of time. He credits Ninja with bolstering esports’ popularity and credibility. Blevins had an explosive 2018, to be sure, even appearing during the Super Bowl in a commercial and streaming from Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

Ninja shares the list with other pop culture stars like Emilia Clarke, Taylor Swift, and LeBron James. Only three years ago PewDiePie secured a place on the list, which is a key indicator of how much times have changed since then.

“Ninja is an absolute legend, and someone to whom we owe a lot for making gaming what it is today,” said Smith-Schuster.

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