Esports star on cover of ESPN

By Hayley Thompson
October 22, 2018


Richard Tyler Blevins, more commonly known by his alias Ninja, managed to gain over 11 million followers on Twitch and land on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. Twitch is a live streaming video platform primarily used for watching and streaming video games. He is currently the most followed streamer on Twitch, with Fortnite being his game of choice.

The video game Fortnite Battle Royale. Photo via Flickr

Fortnite, a multi-player video game, took over the world by storm after being released in July of 2017. Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard of this game. Streamers and participants of Esports, a competitively played game for viewers, can’t seem to get enough of this battle royale game.

If you are committed to streaming on Twitch and have a sizable audience, creators can join the Twitch Partnership Program. This program gives you the opportunity to monetize your streams and have your audience pay to subscribe to you.

Not only is Ninja extremely successful and viewed from around the world, but he is making tons of money. According to Business Insider, he is pulling in over $500,000 each month and he doesn’t even need to leave his bedroom.

Ninja on the cover of ESPN. Photo via ESPN The Magazine

Ninja became the first ever professional Esports player to be displayed on the cover of ESPN. Their gaming issue features an in-depth piece on Ninja called “Living the Stream.” It hit newsstands on Friday, Sept. 21.

You may be wondering how he gained all of his subscribers and blew up over the past year. Ninja spends most of his time playing Fortnite, which is the hottest game right now. Fortnite is also currently the most-watched game on Twitch.

Ninja’s Fortnite streams caught the eye of the famous rapper and singer Drake. He was playing Fortnite in the recording studio and came across a video of Ninja playing on Instagram. He later watched some of his livestreams and became a fan.

On March 14, Ninja and Drake did a Fortnite stream together and broke Twitch’s record for the most concurrent viewers of all time. Shortly after, they did a stream with rapper Travis Scott and football player Juju-Smith-Schuster from the Pittsburg Steelers. The stream broke Twitch’s record again.

Kyle Hopkins, a junior criminology major at Cabrini University, says he watches Ninja to get better.

“He’s the best player in Fortnite. I feel like watching him can improve my skills and help me learn some tips and tricks on how to become a better player,” Hopkins said.

Jared DeLisa playing Fortnite in his dorm. Photo by Hayley Thompson

Lots of viewers are watching simply just to learn. CJ LaMantia, a junior business management major, says he watches Ninja because he’s trying to become a better builder in Fortnite.

“Since I’ve started watching his streams, I’ve noticed my building skills improve. I feel like I’m a stronger player,” LaMantia said.

Although Ninja is great at the game, junior international affairs major Jared DeLisa claims that it’s easier on a PC, the device that Ninja primarily uses.

“On PC, it’s easier to shoot because you can use the mouse to aim and it’s way quicker to build. That’s why he’s so good,” DeLisa said.

Despite the fact that many people feel like they’ve learned a lot from Ninja, there are some that do feel different. Senior marketing major Vince Alimo says that Ninja can be hard to follow at times.

“Ninja is so good that it’s hard to understand how he did what he did. It’s very hard to repeat,” Alimo said

It’s no question that Ninja has many achievements. Being the first Esports player to be featured on the cover of a major magazine like ESPN is a huge accomplishment. Ninja has paved the way for other esports players and Twitch streamers to strive to be successful and become accepted as part of the mainstream media today.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hayley Thompson

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap