Fortnite streamer Ninja makes history as first eSports gamer to cover ESPN magazine
- Ninja has become the first eSports player to make the ESPN magazine cover
- The Fortnite Twitch streamer made news when he played Fortnite with Drake
- He reportedly streams up to 12-hours a day and earns six figures a month
Ninja has become the first ever professional gamer to grace the cover of ESPN The Magazine. The sports publication will feature the eSports player on the cover of its special gaming edition.
‘So excited to the first professional gamer to be featured on @espn the Magazine, Ninja -real name Tyler Blevins- tweeted on September 18.
The Canadian rapper’s participation, as well as that of Kylie Jenner’s boyfriend Travis Scott, saw Ninja’s Fortnite live-stream hit 630,000 concurrent views on the streaming platform Twitch, smashing the previous record of 388,000.
Ninja, real name Tyler Blevins, has become the first gamer to make the ESPN magazine cover
At a charity event several months later, Ninja broke the record again when he racked up 667,000 concurrent views in Las Vegas.
In the ESPN profile entitled Living the Stream by general editor Elaine Teng, Blevin’s incredible stats are recounted one-by-one.
‘Ninja has achieved what no other gamer has before: mainstream fame. With 11 million Twitch followers and climbing, he commands an audience few can dream of,’ she wrote.
‘In April, he logged the most social media interactions in the entire sports world, beating out the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Shaquille O’Neal and Neymar.’
The gamer reportedly earns $500,000-a-month, over half of which come from subscriptions to his Twitch channel, and that’s not including the sponsorships he has with the likes of Uber Eats, Samsung and Red Bull. He has 11 million Twitch followers and nearly 20 million YouTube subscribers.
However, Blevins’s rise to fame and fortune has not been without controversies. Back in March 2018, the gamer apologised for using the N-word while rapping along to Logic’s song 44 More.
In August, the gamer revealed that he doesn’t stream with female gamers out of respect of his wife and fellow gamer Jessica ‘Jghgosty’ Blevins—in order to protect her from any speculation that could arise if anything he said to a female gamer was misconstrued.
‘If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another, and even if there’s a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever,’ the streamer said in the Polygon interview.
His decision has been criticised, with critics pointing out Blevins is sidestepping the harsh reality of being a female gamer and streamer.
The ESPN article portrays a man who is committed to streaming.
‘When I’m not streaming, I have time to reflect on all the growth, and I don’t like that. I’d rather just be home playing,’ he said.
‘I’m like, ‘I haven’t played a celebrity in a while. I haven’t done something big in a while. Is it because I’m slowing down?’ When I’m home, there’s no time to think about that.’
The article said that the gamer streams for a total of 12-hours a day and doesn’t play just one day a week. Blevins treats gaming like a professional sport: ‘When I die, I get so upset,’ he said. ‘You can play every single day, you’re not practicing. You die, and oh well, you go onto the next game.
‘When you’re practicing, you’re taking every single match seriously, so you don’t have an excuse when you die. You’re like, ‘I should have rotated here, I should have pushed there, I should have backed off.’ A lot of people don’t do that.’
Other articles in the gaming issue focus on other, not necessarily lucrative or positive, aspects of the eSport.
There’s an article on the Jacksonville gunman David Katz, the Madden gamer who shot and two people, and wounded ten more at the Madden NFL tournament. The article presents an ‘inside look’ at the shooting, how it happened and what it means for eSports.
The texts, information and opinions published in the space are the sole responsibility of the author. Therefore, they do not necessarily correspond to the E-Sports Plus’ point of view.
Os textos, informações e opiniões publicados neste espaço são de total responsabilidade do(a) autor(a). Logo, não correspondem, necessariamente, ao ponto de vista do E-Sports Plus.