Ninja, once the world’s largest streamer, has announced a surprise departure not only from streaming, but from its online presence in general. Where is he now and when might he return?
From his early days as a professional Halo player, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins was destined for success in the gaming world thanks to his boisterous personality combined with a real skill set.
After moving from PUBG streaming to Fortnite in 2018, he took on Twitch like no one before, breaking record after record and then landing a multi-million dollar deal with Mixer, Microsoft’s now-defunct Twitch rival.
However, upon his return to Twitch, the world had moved away from the Fortnite hype, and Ninja found himself in a more mid-range spot among major streamers. On September 1, he surprised everyone by abruptly leaving the internet, renaming himself “User Not Found” on Twitter, and unsupporting his Twitch channel.
Ninja Takes “Time Out”
As per his new Twitter banner, Ninja is just taking a “time off” from the internet for a while, saying in his farewell tweet that he just “needs a break.”
It’s likely Ninja is experiencing burnout in the same way many creators are – with Pokimane even announcing her own decision to stream less on the same day.
Ninja had already streamed a lot less in the month of August, with only six streams in the last two weeks. It’s also worth noting that Ninja’s wife, Jessica, wasn’t streaming at all herself in August, although by 2022 her streams had already become more sporadic.
Ninja was criticized by other streamers after his streaming series “Masterclass”. Disguised Toast said he “lied to people” about some of the advice given, Sodapoppin called it a “joke,” and YouTuber Drew Gooden toasted the content after paying for the masterclass himself.
When is Ninja coming back?
Since his Twitch account is no longer affiliated, we can assume this isn’t just a week-long or even months-long hiatus.
Ninja has certainly positioned himself well to manage some time away from content creation, and if he really needs it, we might not see him return for months.
It could be a similar situation as with Daequan and Hamlinz. The two Fortnite streamers used to play alongside Ninja, but took long breaks from 2019 to 2022, with only brief comebacks in between.
Ninja fans will surely hope his absence doesn’t last as long as the NRG duo, who have been completely silent online since January.
Judging from his own farewell tweet, not even Ninja himself knows exactly when he’ll be back, but it won’t be a very short break, that’s for sure.
What’s Next for Ninja?
Should this be the end of his streaming career – at least full-time streaming 5 days a week – there are plenty of options for Ninja next.
His fame has brought him roles in films and numerous television appearances.
As always, there is speculation that he could switch to a competing streaming platform like YouTube Gaming. However, this hiatus seems more like a full cut in streaming and content overall, so he might not be signing any new deals any time soon.
However, his announcement came the same day Swagg, a Call of Duty streamer on Twitch, switched to YouTube, which has added to the chatter.
“Ninja shared that he just needs to take a break as the partner badge is now cryptically missing from his Twitch channel, a move that could mean a platform change is in the works,” said Jason Krebs, CEO of StreamElements.
“It’s clear that the rigors of being a full-time Twitch streamer can take its toll, and diversifying platforms could be an opportunity to create content regularly in a less time-consuming manner, while Swagg’s move shows YouTube continues to.” invested in attracting top talent by Twitch, reflecting their commitment to live gaming content.”
Ninja would be a valuable addition to any live streaming platform because while he’s not at his 2018 peak, he still comfortably draws 10,000 viewers at a time, although that can heavily depend on what game he’s playing.