We’ve had big sporting moves like Michael Jordan leaving basketball for baseball, Roger Federer leaving Nike for Uniqlo, and LeBron James leaving Cleveland for Miami Heat. Now we have a momentous occasion in the video game streaming world that ranks up there with those aforementioned switches: Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is leaving Twitch to stream exclusively on the competing platform, Mixer.
This is a huge move for the Fortnite streamer as Twitch was where he first made his mark on the video game world.
Starting as a professional Halo 3 player in 2009, Ninja turned to streaming in 2011 and rose quickly up the ranks when he jumped on the Fortnite train. Soon he was in demand everywhere, even in areas outside of gaming. When you’re streaming Fortnite with Drake, chatting to Ellen DeGeneres and making it on Time’s most influential people of 2019 list, you’re doing something right.
The knee-jerk reaction towards Ninja leaving the platform that made his career for a much smaller, competing platform is that it seems super risky.
But the reality is that his move is great for the streaming space.
Ninja is one of the most popular streamers on Twitch, which holds a firm monopoly over the streaming scene with 72.2% of total live stream time spent on the platform compared to Mixer’s 3%. But those numbers will be change dramatically over the coming months when Ninja gets going on Mixer and his massive fanbase migrate over from Twitch.
This will make a dent in Twitch’s monopoly as fans and creators will now be looking to Mixer as an alternative, which will provide some much needed competition and innovation in the space. It will also bring exposure to creators already on Mixer who otherwise wouldn’t have gotten much attention had Ninja stayed on Twitch.
Think of this whole Ninja/Twitch/Mixer situation like if Marvel broke up with Disney and did its own thing independently.
Marvel’s brand and fanbase is large enough that it can be successful on its own, Disney’s massive monopoly on the film market would be smaller thus providing much needed competition, which in turn will foster greater creativity and exposure for other filmmakers and studios who will want to get a piece of the more evenly spread pie.
How this will all pan out remains to be seen but Ninja promises that his streams will be “exactly the same” as they were on Twitch, meaning he’ll still be on the Fortnite train, at least for now.
But seeing as how Mixer is owned by Microsoft, who will be releasing a new Halo game soon, perhaps we could see Ninja swap games at some point. He talked about going back to his roots with the move away from Twitch and what better way to do that than to re-visit the franchise that got him into the streaming scene in the first place.