- Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is the most well-known professional gamer in the world, but he’s no longer the most watched, according to data from StreamElements.
- Ninja still has more than twice as many followers as any other streamer on Twitch, but viewers have spent more time watching other channels.
- During the last three months viewers spent nearly 30 million hours watching rival "Fortnite" player Turner "Tfue" Tienney, making him the most popular streamer over that span.
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In the world of online influencers and professional video-game streamers, fame is certainly fleeting.
Tyler "Ninja" Blevins enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the professional gaming world in 2018 — the 28-year-old played "Fortnite" alongside celebrities like Drake and JuJu Schuster-Smith, appeared in ads for Samsung and the NFL, and was even a guest on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon.
But it’s a new year and Ninja has seen his viewership lag behind competing gamers. While "Ninja" has remained among the top 5 most watched channels on Twitch, Amazon’s video game streaming platform, viewers spent more time watching rival "Fortnite" streamer Turner "Tfue" Tenney during April, May and June, according to data from StreamElements.
Ninja still has more than twice as many followers as any other user on Twitch, but watch-time arguably offers a more accurate judge of popularity than follower count. Fake or abandoned accounts can impact follower numbers, while watch-time is an indicator of the level of engagement on the part of real human beings.
According to data from StreamElements, viewers watched Tfue for nearly 30 million hours during the last three months – 6 million more hours than viewers spent watching Ninja. A few other channels including "World of Warcraft" streamer Asmondgold and first-person shooter enthusiast shroud managed to match Ninja’s viewership in June, as well.
Ninja’s slight decline in popularity could be linked to a gradual decrease in "Fortnite" viewers overall. While "Fortnite" remains the most popular title on Twitch, hours of the game watched decreased by 3.6% during the second quarter of the year, StreamElements said. Ninja also failed to qualify for the Fortnite World Cup, an invitational tournament with a $30 million prize pool. Tfue, meanwhile, qualified as a solo competitor in April.
Earlier this year Ninja told the Los Angeles Times that he wanted to be known as more than "the ‘Fortnite’ guy," and he’s been working to expand his brand. In June Penguin Random House announced a three book partnership with Ninja that would include a guide to professional gaming and a graphic novel. "Ninja: Get Good, My Ultimate Guide to Gaming" is due out in August, and is meant for readers age 10 and up.
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