NINJA is the most popular streamer on Twitch with over 18 million followers, but it wasn’t always guaranteed that he would be a successful gamer.
Before he was born, his mother’s doctors told him he would be born with spina bifida, or Down syndrome, and encouraged her to have an abortion.
As a Catholic woman, she fought that decision and gave birth to a healthy Tyler “Ninja” Blevins in 1991.
Before the internet era, gaming wasn’t nearly as popular as it is today, and professional gaming wasn’t a career path worth pursuing.
His two older brothers are biology teachers and a Catholic minister, both pursuing relatively stable career paths befitting their middle-class, religious upbringing.
Ninja’s grandparents gave him $20,000 ($17,000) to go to college, which Ninja “sucked up” in his freshman year before being forced to return home.
However, he quit in his sophomore year to pursue streaming full-time.
He began his gaming ambitions as a professional Halo player when his father took him to his first tournament in Ohio.
Ninja finished in round five of the losers bracket, a position he describes as “great for a first event.”
Streaming, attending college and also working at fast food restaurant Noodles & Company, Ninja said he doesn’t have time for anything else.
In an interview, he said: “I’ve given up on friendships, I’ve ruined relationships, I’ve completely shut out my family. They are sacrifices.”
He had agreed with his family that if he could earn minimum wage streaming, he would do it full-time.
However, once he fell below that threshold, he would go back to college.
He told Jimmy Fallon: “Money talks, right? Once I started streaming, I started making a living.”
When he started collecting minimum wage with his stream, he wasn’t out of the woods.
While playing Destiny, Ninja detached a retina and had to stop playing for a few months to recover.
His viewers numbered in the hundreds and he thought his channel would never recover.
Then the battle royale boom started.
Ninja first recorded H1Z1 before moving to PUBG and eventually finding his home in Fortnite.
Streaming up to 18 hours a day to be one of the best in the game was slowly building momentum.
However, he claims that it is necessary if you want to become a professional gamer. you have to be the best
Giving advice to young fans, he said: “It’s not easy… Do you want it? You have to work your ass off every day.
“You have to be better than millions of people to reach the level you dream of.”
Of course, streaming 18 hours a day is neither healthy nor advisable.
He recently said that he was overcome by the fear of failure.
Once he took two days off to compete in a Fortnite tournament – and eventually win.
In that time, he has lost 40,000 subscribers from his channel.
The future is blurry for ninja. After collapsing on stream, he decided to take a break from playing.
Deleting his Twitch and Twitter pictures, he wrote: “I just need a break. I don’t know when I’ll be back or where”
He has admitted that he doesn’t think pro gaming is a viable career option for most people.
When asked, he said, “Until it’s accepted on a global scale, I don’t think parents should ever be okay with kids not doing well in school.”
Although he admits that people’s opinions about the profession are changing.
In 2018, rapper Drake, who co-owns esports giant 100 Thieves, asked if he could join Ninja in a Fortnite game
He quickly broke the record for most concurrent viewers on a live stream, with over 600,000 viewers, and believes that may have been the game changer.
Speaking of the moment, Ninja said, “That one game with Drake made it okay for everyone to play video games.”
Ninja’s success was due to a number of factors, none of which can be attributed solely to its popularity.
He was raised in a financially and emotionally supportive family that allowed him to embark on a career path unimaginable at the time.
Ninja spent thousands of hours playing games to become one of the best gamers in the world and sacrificed all social aspects of his life.
And finally, a very famous celebrity noticed him and gave him his big break.
While Ninja was recently valued at around $50m (£45m), not every Godplayer can achieve the same – or get tens of thousands of dollars from their family to “blow through”.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9377055/life-of-ninja/ In the life of Ninja: How the Fortnite player made his MILLIONS