Olivia R. February 22, 2019
Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is no longer the most-subscribed broadcaster on Twitch.
Over the past 10 months, Ninja has lost 90 percent of his subscribers, going from a record-breaking 263,000 to just over 26,000. He is now the 11th most-subscribed person on Twitch, falling behind such personalities as Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek and Felix "xQc" Lengyel.
Not to be confused with followers, Twitch subscribers make a monthly payment to a Twitch partner as a way to support their favorite channels. Subscriptions are the most common way that streamers make money. Even at 26,000, Ninja is making around $130,000 a month from subscriptions alone.
While there’s no clear answer as to why Ninja has lost such a staggering number of subscribers, many in the gaming community are speculating that a year of controversy is to blame. Ninja graced the cover of ESPN Magazine and appeared in Super Bowl commercials, but growing success put the famous streamer’s missteps into the spotlight.
In March of last year, Ninja inserted a racial epithet while rapping the lyrics to Logic’s “44 More.” He also doxxed a Twitch viewer who used the same racial slur against him, which is against Twitch’s terms of service. He went after another fan for celebrating after killing him on stream, telling his viewers, “I’m going out of my way to get his guy banned.”
Ninja got into more hot water when he said he would never play games with female streamers.
“Even if there’s a hint of flirting,” said Ninja, “that is going to be taken and going to be put up on every single video and be clickbait forever.”
Despite his famous Drake Fortnite stream becoming a mainstream sensation, Ninja confided to his fans that he felt used by the Canadian rapper. He said that Drake noticed he was “up-and-coming in the gaming scene” and felt it was the perfect way to “tap into another source of viewers” by playing some games with him. Drake unfollowed Ninja after the public outburst.
Sometimes drama isn’t the only reason streamers lose subscribers. When Ninja took a two-day break from streaming he lost a whopping 40,000 subscribers, highlighting the pressure many streamers feel to constantly create new content.