Today, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins streamed for the first time since the Mixer shutdown was announced two weeks ago. He teamed up with his regular collaborators: Twitch streamers TimTheTatman and Dr Lupo, plus YouTube streamer CouRage, to play Fortnite.
Despite the stream being given very little promotion beforehand, it was supremely successful. According to Blevins, it attracted a staggering 167,000 concurrent viewers.
That should have Twitch executives sweating in their suits.
While other former Mixer streamers have moved to Facebook Gaming or new streaming platforms like Trovo, Ninja has not made an official decision about his next streaming home.
Esports journalist Rod “Slasher” Breslau says Ninja is currently in talks with platforms about exclusive deals and that the YouTube stream was his own choice.
It’s unclear if Ninja will stay on YouTube, return to Twitch, or move to Facebook Gaming. Facebook has been spending big to beef up its streaming talent roster, but Blevins reportedly already turned down a ridiculously-lucrative offer.
If the Fortnite legend does sign a deal with YouTube, it’s likely to create a new nightmare for Twitch.
Not only is the platform’s reach far greater than Mixer or Twitch’s, but Ninja has been building his YouTube community for years. He has 2.8 million YouTube subscribers. That puts him well on his way to matching the 14 million followers he had on Twitch.
YouTube gaming lead Ryan Watt noted that Ninja has “always been” a YouTube creator. His channel had 2.2 billion views before today’s stream.
That’s without making a real effort to build a unique presence there. Ninja’s YouTube channel mainly features clips from his streams on Mixer and Twitch.
While many of Ninja’s fans on Twitch may not have followed him to Mixer because they didn’t use the platform, he won’t face this problem on YouTube. On the contrary: signing a deal with YouTube could pull many users away from Twitch.
While Ninja’s move to Mixer didn’t do much for that platform’s viewer numbers, it did prompt more streamers to start using the site. Expect him to hold similar sway in the aftermath of the Mixer shutdown.
YouTube has already signed exclusive deals with creators like Valkyrae. If it continues to build its roster with top talent, fans could find themselves spending less and less time on Twitch and other competing streaming sites.
Blevins hasn’t decided to ink a deal with YouTube yet. After today’s wildly-successful stream, Twitch has more reasons than ever to pray that he never does.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.