Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is streaming on YouTube, but his fans shouldn’t uninstall Twitch from their phone quite yet.
According to esports insider Rod “Slasher” Breslau, the popular streamer is still a streaming free agent. This follows a broadcast on YouTube Gaming. According to Breslau, the stream was a one-off appearance for the time being. Ninja is not under contract with YouTube and could appear anywhere he pleases at any time.
sources: Ninja is currently in negotiations with streaming platforms and no exclusive deal has yet been signed, including YouTube. today’s YouTube live stream from Ninja is all on his own. maybe he’ll stream on Twitch too.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 8, 2020
Ninja’s debut live stream on YouTube went well, as concurrent viewership quickly jumped above 150,000. This broke the record for the most-watched gaming stream on YouTube.
Ninja was also visibly pleased to be back in action, discussing how the “band was back together” as he played a squad game with Timothy “TimtheTatman” Betar, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, and Ben “DrLupo” Lupo.
The return of Ninja is welcome news for his fans even though his appearance on YouTube was potentially a one-off affair.
Ninja shook up the entire streaming world last year when he made the move from Twitch to Mixer. While Twitch has long had a stranglehold on the video game streaming world, Microsoft looked to shake up that established order by bringing in the most recognizable name in streaming with the goal of also bringing in more viewers and showing Mixer to be a viable platform for the streaming community at large.
Ninja’s move to Mixer accomplished the second goal, with more new streamers looking to start on Mixer rather than Twitch. The trouble was that viewership barely budged upwards, even as Mixer opted to add more big-name streamers.
Despite the loss of Ninja and several other streamers, Twitch’s market share within the streaming industry actually grew. This led to Mixer cutting its losses, shutting down its services, pointing its homegrown talent towards Facebook Gaming, and releasing Ninja entirely.
Ninja could end up anywhere and he still adds a great deal of value to any platform he moves to, but his options are somewhat limited. His breakup with Twitch last year was a bitter one, and it’s uncertain how comfortable either side would be in getting back together. Facebook Gaming is another option, but it’s unclear if Facebook would be willing to throw around the sort of money Ninja would command. Previous reports have indicated that Facebook made a significant offer to Ninja following the death of Mixer, but those reports remain unconfirmed.
YouTube could be the best landing spot for Ninja, though it remains to be seen whether the two sides will come to terms.