Twitch superstar Tyler Blevins – better known as “Ninja” – finally settled the debate over how much he earned in 2018. Ninja announced to CNN during his press campaign on New Year’s Eve in New York City that he collected close to $10 million last year. More than twenty-million YouTube channels are subscribed to Ninja, while he has 12.5 million followers on Twitch, in which 40,000 of those are paid subscribers.
He stated to CNN that he feels he is an entrepreneur, comparing his stream to a coffee shop. “They’re gonna find another coffee shop if you’re not there … you have to be there all the time,” he said to CNN.“All the time” is not a hyperbole either – Ninja claims he goes live for nearly 12 hours a day, adding up to roughly 4,000 hours of gaming over the year.
A portion of the money was earned from each ad viewed on his YouTube channel, in addition to profits from bits, donations and monthly subscriptions (ranging from $5, $10 or $25) on Twitch. This doesn’t even include the earnings he collected from tournament wins and endorsement deals with brands like Uber Eats, Samsung and Red Bull.
As esports and Twitch streaming continues to grow, this is.a prime example of just how possible it is to make an earning. One major influential factor throughout 2018 was the successful growth of Fortnite, where streamers are not only there to put on a show for their subscribers, but also to set a “different, far less toxic tone than other gaming communities,” as TechCrunch reports.
For example, Ninja chose to cut swear words as well as other toxic language from his stream, which resulted in a growing population amongst young viewers. Other Fortnite streamers including NickMercs and Courage, also decided on more inclusive, supportive communities to base their streams around.
Though $10 million is less than the earnings of top traditional athletes, esports is still on the rise and it’s clear that Ninja and other Fortnite streamers are still very much on the same rise. Epic Games releases new format and opportunities, assisting in streamers like Ninja to create more engaging content on their streams through high-stake tournaments and competitive play events such as the Summer and Fall Skirmishes, the Winter Royale and the less-incentivized pop-up cups.