If you have yet to know who “Ninja” is, it’s likely you will in the years ahead.
Tyler Blevins is a gamer and internet personality better known as “Ninja,” his name on Amazon’s live video-streaming service Twitch. Blevins is a professional gamer with a reputation as the best player of the popular game “Fortnite.” With followers in the millions and a six-figure monthly income, this famous gamer is one to watch. Learn more about this e-sports competitor.
Tyler Was Born In Taylor
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was born on June 5, 1991 in Taylor, Michigan. His parents are Chuck and Cynthia Blevins. He is 27 years old.
He Is The Youngest Of Three Boys
Blevins is the youngest of three children. He has two older brothers, named Jonathan and Chris. Although he was born in Michigan, the family moved to Illinois when he was a baby.
His Dad Was A Gamer, Too
“Ninja” inherited his love of video games from his father, who enjoyed playing on the family’s Sega at night after the boys were asleep. As long as her sons kept up their grades and worked when they were old enough, Tyler’s mom let the boys have an hour of game time for every hour they spent outside.
He Was Kind Of A Gaming Prodigy
Although he was the youngest of the three, he had a knack for beating his brothers at “Halo” when he was only 9 or 10 years old. He became quite serious about playing when he discovered there was money to be had. He entered a “Halo 3” event in 2009 and was soon winning cash.
The Blevins Family Was On ‘Family Feud’
Ninja played another type of game while others watched long before his “Halo” and “Fortnite” days. The Blevins family appeared on “Family Feud” in 2015. They big, too — walking away with more than $40,000.
The Blevins Family Endured A ‘Swatting’ Incident
It’s no secret that the internet can bring out the worst in some people. Tyler and his parents learned firsthand how true this can be. They were once the victims of a “swatting” call, a dangerous prank in which someone calls in a fake emergency. The police surrounded the Blevins home with guns drawn until they determined it was a phony report.
The Name ‘Ninja’ Is Based On A ‘Halo’ Move
Tyler chose the alias of “Ninja” from his “Halo”-playing days. Ninja was a tactic in “Halo 3.” With the right armor, weapons and moves, players could learn to strike without being seen.
He Kept His Job When He Started Making Money Gaming
After he started earning money from streaming, he still went to school and held a job.
“It was one of those things where if I was doing well in school, putting in the time and effort there, and soccer as well, that I would be rewarded to play as many games as I want,” he told CNBC. “I maintained my job that I was working at Noodles & Company and I stayed in college while I was doing all of these things.”
He Was Cautious About A Career In Gaming
Tyler didn’t put all his eggs in one basket. The gamer did his best in college, at work and whatever he was doing, he told CNBC. “I continued to do well in school and focus on the future of my life.”
He Almost Didn’t Meet His Wife
Tyler is now happily married to his wife, Jessica, but the couple nearly never met. Her ex-boyfriend asked her to attend a “Halo” tournament before they broke up. He persuaded her to attend, even though she had to drive 3 1/2 hours through a snowstorm to get there. Tyler had a girlfriend at the time, but three years after they met, the two reconnected on Twitter. They married in 2017.
He Is Married To His Manager
Jessica Blevins plays an active role in Tyler’s career. She began acting as his manager after noticing he needed assistance.
“I was like, OK, yes, I stream, but I’m 100 percent able to start managing him,” Jessica, who is also active on Twitch, told Business Insider. “Those companies deserve to have professional responses and know that somebody’s taking the time to read them and work with them.”
He Has Little Privacy
Tyler and Jessica live in a gated community near Chicago — a neighborhood where some of the Chicago Bears players also live. At their previous home, people would come to the door hoping to meet him. Even now, with the secure surroundings, he still receives notes in his mailbox.
Ninja Doesn’t Play Female Gamers
Tyler has received flack for his stance on playing with women. He refuses to play against female gamers because he wants to avoid rumors and speculation.
“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,” he told Polygon.
He Streams 11-12 Hours A Day
Tyler streams his gameplay on Twitch for the better part of each day. After waking at about 9 a.m. and spending 30 minutes or so with his wife, he heads to the basement to get to work. He streams from around 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m before taking a break with Jessica. Then, he is back at it from about 8 p.m. until 1 or 2 a.m., when he decides to call it a day.
He Makes Money Several Ways
As a top Twitch streamer, Tyler has said he earns more than $500,000 each month. Much (but not all) of his income comes from subscribers who donate to his Twitch channel and YouTube subscribers. He also has sponsors, such as Red Bull.
He Has Played ‘Fortnite’ With Drake
Ninja has played against and alongside celebs such as Drake and EDM star Marshmello. In fact, when he and Drake teamed up for a “Fortnite” match, they had more than 635,000 concurrent viewers. The streaming event was in the top four trending topics at that time. Travis Scott and Pittsburgh Steelers player JuJu Smith-Schuster also got in on the game.
He Has Given A Lot Of Money To Charity
While he certainly makes a comfortable living, Blevins is charitable as well. He helped Florida’s GuardianCon gaming convention raise $2.7 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He raised more than $113,000 for the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention in just one day after a friend took his own life. He has also paid for surgeries for animals in shelters.
He Raised $1 Million For Alzheimer’s Research By Winning A Tournament
In June 2018, Tyler and other gamers joined in an effort with celebrities to raise more money for charity in the first E3 Celebrity Pro-Am. He teamed up with Marshmello against stars such as the “Walking Dead’s” Chandler Riggs and Joel McHale to win the tournament, bringing in $1 million for the charity of his choice, the Alzheimer’s Association.
He Has Millions Of Fans
Tyler is truly at the top of his niche. He has earned 11 million followers on Twitch and more than 18 million subscribers on YouTube. He once received a donation of $40,000 from a single viewer.
Ninja Doesn’t Want Young Fans To Plan For His Career
Ninja does not want young fans to think they can give up on everything else and just play video games for a living.
“All the kids out there, you can’t just drop everything and focus on playing video games for a living,” he told CNBC. “It’s also becoming a very competitive career choice right now, and you want to make sure that you’re securing your future.”
He Was Once Banned by Twitch
“Doxxing” is a term used to describe releasing someone’s personal information online. Doing so violates Twitch’s community guidelines. Ninja was accused of violating this rule when he released personal info of a viewer who made a racist comment. Twitch banned him for 48 hours.
He Used A Racial Slur While Streaming
During a live “Fortnite” stream, Tyler used a racial slur while rapping. He took to social media to apologize for the language.
“I promise that there was no mal intent (I wasn’t even trying to say the word — I fumbled lyrics and got tongue tied in the worst possible way). Again, I apologize for offending anyone and appreciate you all rocking with me,” he posted on Twitter.
There Was A Ninja Death Hoax
Another issue Tyler dealt with was rumors of his own demise. An Instagram user called Ninja_Hater posted an image of Ninja alongside deceased celebrities with the caption, “Join us, Ninja.” He encouraged his followers to share it and the hoax went viral before it was quashed.
He Also Teaches
Ninja is a partner of an e-sports training website called LVLUP Dojo. The site offers educational material for gamers, such as blog posts and videos with tips and instruction. Tyler teaches a course on starting and growing a Twitch channel.
He’s Making History
In October 2018, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins will make gaming and e-sports history. He will be featured on the cover of ESPN the Magazine. He is the first esports player to appear on the cover of the sports magazine.