Steven R. February 16, 2019
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins isn’t just a popular streamer. He’s also capable of hanging with the best in his favorite games.
Ninja reminded fans of his skills in winning the North American Twitch Rivals Apex Legends Challenge, the first major tournament in the popular new battle royale. Competing as King’s Canyon alongside NRG Esports players Coby “dizzy” Meadows and Richard “KingRichard” Nelson, Ninja managed to best a variety of streamers and pro players from a variety of games.
Though the event featured eight teams competing with one another, the format did not see them face off directly. Instead, the squads competed in a series of public games with the goal of racking up points. One point was awarded for each kill and five for each game victory.
While all teams in the field initially looked competitive, the event soon developed into a two-horse race between King’s Canyon and Reid’s Money Team. Comprised of experienced battle royale pro players in TSM’s Jake "chocoTaco" Throop and Sean “vsnz” Garcia, joined by Rogue’s Jordan “HusKers” Thomas, Reid’s Money Team were the equals of Ninja and company both on paper and in practice.
The two teams were neck and neck during the event. First place hinged on the final games played. Reid’s Money Team managed to score more kills across the tournament, but King’s Canyon managed to secure the needed game wins to make up the difference and eke out a first-place finish with 420 points to Reid’s Money Team’s 419.
With this victory, Ninja now has first-place finishes in tournaments for Fortnite, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, H1Z1, and Apex Legends.
As for Apex Legends as an esport, it is unclear what the future holds. The fact that established esports organizations are already on the hunt for talent in the game suggests that big things could be on the horizon.