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Richard Tyler Blevins (born June 5, 1991), more commonly known by his online alias Ninja is an American Twitch streamer, YouTuber, professional gamer and Internet personality. As of May 2019, he is the most followed streamer on Twitch with over fourteen million followers and an average of over 40,000 viewers per week.
|Born||Richard Tyler Blevins|
June 5, 1991
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Home town||Grayslake, Illinois|
Jessica Blevins (m. 2017)
|Also known as||NinjasHyper|
|Teams played for||Cloud9|
(July 7, 2019)
(July 7, 2019)
|Follower and view counts updated as of July 7, 2019.|
Blevins was born Richard Tyler Blevins to American parents of Welsh descent. Though born in the Detroit area, he moved with his family to the Chicago suburbs when he was a year old. Blevins' youth in the Chicago suburbs included video games and sports. He attended Grayslake Central High School, where he played soccer, and was also an avid video game player. Upon graduation, he decided to play video games professionally, entering tournaments, joining professional organizations, and live streaming his games.
Blevins began playing Halo 3 professionally in 2009. He played for various teams including Cloud9, Renegades, Team Liquid, and is currently with Luminosity Gaming. Blevins became a streamer in 2011. He began playing H1Z1, then moved to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. He joined Luminosity Gaming in 2017 first as a Halo player, then to H1Z1, later moving to PUBG, where he won the PUBG Gamescom Invitational Squads classification. He began streaming Fortnite regularly and his viewership began to grow, which coincided with the game's growth in popularity. In September 2017, he had 500,000 followers; in six months, that number grew by 250 percent. In March 2018, Blevins set the Twitch record for a single individual stream while playing Fortnite after he hosted a game with Drake, Travis Scott, and Juju Smith-Schuster. In April 2018, he broke his own viewing record during his event Ninja Vegas 2018 where he accumulated an audience of about 667,000 live viewers.
Blevins has over 21 million subscribers on YouTube as of March 2019. He earns over $500,000 per month from streaming Fortnite, and credits the game's free-to-play business model as a growth factor.
On June 17, 2018, Blevins announced that he had partnered with Red Bull Esports. He also mentioned in the announcement that fans could challenge him at a special Fortnite event called the "Red Bull Rise Till Dawn" in Chicago on July 21, 2018.
Ninja announced a deal with the record label Astralwerks in October 2018 to compile an album titled Ninjawerks: Vol. 1 featuring original songs by electronic music acts including Alesso, Nero, Tycho and 3LAU. The album was released on December 14, 2018.
In a fundraising charity stream held in February 2018, Blevins raised over $110,000 to be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. During the first Fortnite Battle Royale Esports event in April 2018, Blevins gave away nearly $50,000 in prize money, with $2,500 of that going to the Alzheimer's Association. Later in April, he participated in the #Clips4Kids event with other fellow streamers Dr.Lupo and Timthetatman, and in total, he helped raise over $340,000. At E3 2018, Blevins and Marshmello won the Fortnite Pro-Am event which resulted in the donation of the $1 million prize to a charity of their choice.
Blevins' family was featured in several episodes of the television game show Family Feud in 2015. According to The Brillion News, Blevins was the reason he and his team were able to make it onto the show.
Blevins has stated that he does not stream with female gamers out of respect to his wife and to avoid the rumors that such streaming could create. He received mixed reactions; some said that he should set an example and not make it more difficult for female streamers to rise to prominence, while others supported his stance, claiming that he should be allowed to do what he wants to protect his marriage. In response to his critics, Blevins has reaffirmed his support for gender equality and restated his commitment to his marriage, and mentioned some prominent female streamers by name. He has also made clear that women are welcome to play with him in a group or at events, saying that such situations allow him to "control the narrative more, without stupid drama and rumors flooding into our lives."
In December 2016, Blevins released the address of a donator as retribution for having a racist screen name and donation message. This act, which is referred to as 'doxxing', is against the Twitch rules, which states they can result in an "indefinite suspension". Blevins was reported for this act, but only received a 48-hour suspension, which some believed was a result of Blevins' large audience on the platform. Blevins later tweeted that he deserved the punishment.
In March 2018, while in a stream with Nadeshot, Blevins improvised the word 'nigga' while rapping to Logic’s "44 More." This sparked controversy within his watching community and the general public. He later apologised for any offense caused and stated that he did not intend to say the word, instead attributing his use of the word to being "tongue tied".
In November 2018, Blevins received criticism for falsely reporting IcyFive, a Fortnite player, for stream sniping. After Blevins was eliminated by the player, Blevins' teammate, DrLupo, told him to watch for an "emote", which IcyFive did perform. Blevins took this as proof that IcyFive was stream sniping, and quickly reported the player. After reporting the player, Blevins stated that he would “go out of his way” to ensure IcyFive got banned, and told IcyFive that he would not report him if he left immediately, despite already reporting him. As IcyFive was not viewing the stream, he did not do so. Blevins assumed IcyFive was ignoring him, and took out his phone in what appeared to be an attempt at directly contacting Epic Games. IcyFive claimed that he did not stream snipe Blevins and uploaded a video as proof, and DrLupo later stated that he did not believe IcyFive stream sniped Blevins either, mentioning that using an emote was a regular reaction to an increase in spectator count after an elimination, and also stated that he did not condone Blevins' actions, and compared them to a rant. Blevins later apologised to IcyFive on Twitter, but also accused the player of "playing the victim" and "milking" the incident, and called him "naive" for assuming players would be banned solely on his word.
In October 2018, Blevins reported a player for "having a higher ping" than him. This led to a player claiming on November 16, 2018 they had been banned as a result of the report, which Epic Games denied. Both of these incidents caused backlash against Blevins on social media.
Awards and nominations
|2018||8th Streamy Awards||Creator of the Year||Won|||
|Esports Awards||Esports Personality of the Year||Won|||
|The Game Awards 2018||Content Creator of the Year||Won|||
|2019||11th Shorty Awards||Twitch Streamer of the Year||Won|||
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