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With the closure of Mixer, fans wondered where Tyler “Ninja” Blevins would end up. For now, it seems like the answer is YouTube. This comes as a big surprise, as many thought he would return to Twitch, the platform that made him famous. Despite the popularity of Ninja’s YouTube channel, which has amassed over 2.2 billion views according to Social Blade, today marks the first time he’s live-streamed on the platform.
Ninja left Twitch in August 2019 to stream exclusively on Mixer. The exclusivity deal, which was reportedly in the tens of millions, failed to attract a significant audience to Microsoft’s streaming platform. With the closure of Mixer last month, Ninja is arguably the highest-profile streamer to be displaced. However, his stream on YouTube isn’t part of any announced deal with the platform. According to esports insider Rod “Slasher” Breslau, Ninja is “currently in negotiations with streaming platforms, and no exclusive deal has yet been signed.”
sources: Ninja is currently in negotiations with streaming platforms and no exclusive deal has yet been signed, including YouTube. today's YouTube live stream from Ninja is all on his own. maybe he'll stream on Twitch too.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 8, 2020
Ninja may be transitioning to Facebook Gaming as part of Microsoft’s partnership with that platform. He may also now be a free agent, as Mixer’s closure likely triggered a separation clause in his contract that allowed him to exit the deal. Ninja’s current relationship with Twitch is unknown. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise if there was bad blood between them after his abrupt departure. As the stream closed, Ninja said there’d be more to come, so we can anticipate seeing him on YouTube again in the future, at least for now.
Despite his lower viewership after the move to Mixer, Ninja continues to be one of the most-talked-about streamers in the business. He was the first streamer to get his own Fortnite skin, and he continues to score huge merchandise deals. However, there’s the elephant in the room concerning Ninja’s next move. If he returned to Twitch today, would he enjoy the same massive level of popularity as he did previously, or has the void he left been filled by other streamers?