Following Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins’ announcement that he would be leaving Twitch for Mixer, the streamer’s “Verified User” badge (the purple check mark next to his Twitch name and icon) has been removed. The Ninja Twitch verification removal comes soon after — if not immediately following — his announcement.
A tweet from Daniel “Keemstar” Keem, creator of the DramaAlert YouTube channel, about the Ninja Twitch verification removal has more than 11 thousand likes at the time of writing. Keemstar called the move “pathetic,” and many other Twitter users seem to agree. Searching “Ninja verification” on Twitter yields dozens of similar posts, calling the removal “petty” and “disrespectful.” It’s worth noting, however, that the Verified User badge signifies that the user is a partnered streamer, which Ninja no longer is, given the fact that he will now not be streaming on the platform at all. Ninja has also removed the link to Twitch from his Twitter bio, replacing it with the link to his Mixer channel (though it’s not clear if this happened before, after, or at the same time as the Ninja Twitch verification removal).
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) August 1, 2019
In a statement to Polygon after Ninja’s announcement, Twitch wished Ninja luck and said those at the company had “loved watching Ninja on Twitch over the years and are proud of all that he’s accomplished for himself and his family, and the gaming community.”
With more than 14 million followers on the platform, Ninja is still the most-followed streamer on Twitch. His move to Mixer is surprising and significant, and it could be a big step in gaining users for Microsoft’s streaming service. A report last month found that Twitch viewership declined for the first time in more than a year, while Mixer saw huge growth (though it was still very small compared to Twitch). Perhaps Microsoft is hoping to capture some of Ninja’s massive audience in order to help grab some of Twitch’s viewership. Ninja himself, meanwhile, said his move to Mixer is motivated by a desire to “get back to the streaming roots.”