The biggest streamer on Earth has returned to his home — at least for a few more years.
Tyler “Ninja” Bleivns has returned to Twitch, the original platform on which he became a household name among gamers. After months of sporadic streaming on various platforms, Ninja announced his comeback via Twitter and confirmed that he will be streaming exclusively on Twitch.
Prior to the announcement, there was much speculation about what platform Ninja was going to commit to, if any, after Microsoft’s Mixer service shut down on July 22. Ninja was reportedly paid somewhere around $20 million to $30 million dollars when he swapped from Twitch to Mixer back in August 2019.
After Mixer was dissolved, Ninja comfortably spent the next few months as a free agent, occasionally popping on to play a few games with his friends. As of September 10, he is now back on Twitch with a multiyear contract, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“I am excited to get back to streaming full-time and connecting with my loyal fanbase,” Ninja said in a statement to the outlet. “I really took my time to decide which platform was best and Twitch has been supportive throughout this process and understanding my overall career goals. In this next chapter, I’m going to make it a point to elevate and bring more eyes to underrepresented creators. I am looking forward to working with Twitch to demonstrate how this amazing community of gamers can make a meaningful impact.”
Twitch has always had an edge over its competitors as a pioneering platform in the streaming industry, but Ninja’s return has bolstered that advantage. Ninja is indisputably the biggest streamer in the world with over 15 million followers and a crossover appeal that has landed him starring roles in Superbowl commercials alongside Tom Brady and Marshawn Lynch and appearances at the New Year’s Times Square Ball Drop (cringey flossing notwithstanding).
But he’s also the second A-list streamer to return to Twitch after leaving the platform for lucrative competitor deals. The first was Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek when he signed a new contract with Twitch on August 11.
Microsoft was the first to drop out of the burgeoning streaming war. Now, Twitch (owned by Amazon), Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming (owned by Google) are locked in a three-way battle for dominance in the market.
Some notable streamers have done well after leaving Twitch. Jeremy “DisguisedToast” Wang and Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter still have strong followings since joining Facebook Gaming in 2019 and YouTube Gaming in January, respectively.
But Ninja’s and Shroud’s homecomings both still seem to demonstrate that, as things are now, Twitch itself carries far more clout among viewers than even its top streamers.
If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s article on Shroud’s triumphant return to Twitch.
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