Fortnite steamer Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins smashed the the Twitch streaming record – again. The popular streamer had 667 000 concurrent viewers during his Twitch stream of Fortnite at a Las Vegas Exhibition centre. This comes off the back of his previous record which he set a month ago with Rapper Drake – one of the most successful Canadian artists in history – which peaked at 628 000. This is more impressive when considering the previous two records were held by ‘LolTyler1’ in his return stream at 386 000 and then ‘Dr.DisRespect‘ at 388 000.
Ninja beat those records by nearly 300 000 viewers. What many media outlets are attributing this to is Drake being a catalyst for his rise in popularity; this is grossly incorrect. The Verge covering the breakage of the first record as “Drake drops in to play Fortnite on Twitch and breaks the record for most-viewed stream”. Drake did not break the streaming record, Ninja did. This article is presenting this point as many other articles seemed to have forgotten it. Personally I find is saddening how much attention the recent stream record breaking got when compared to the first.
In fact a simple google search asking ‘Twitch record broken’ will find that the first few articles will be littered with Drake in the title with few covering the recent milestone. Now, this is mostly because the rapper Drake will of course create more traffic to these articles and sources, hence the title of this one. Ninja broke the record first and without celebrity help, but Ninja himself is not getting the credit he deserves: as a streamer, an entertainer and a gamer.
There are a number of factors that contributed to him breaking the record for a second time as well. The first of course is Ninja himself. Since the release of Fortnite, Ninja has slowly been growing his viewership with his high skill levels in the game but also being a very entertaining person – streamers must be able to entertain thousands for hours daily a skill which often goes uncredited for.
The platform Twitch has been booming recently, rivaling YouTube in terms of livestream viewerships. Their sponsorship deal with Amazon, Twitch Prime, allows those with Amazon Prime to subscribe to their streamers giving them four pounds ninety-nine per month, which is then split 50-50 with Twitch themselves. This has allowed more streamers to regularly stream due to an increase in their income from the platform. Many minor celebrities have also been streaming on Twitch as well, with Jake and Logan Paul recently joining the platform along with veterans such as ‘Shroud’ and ‘Imaqtpie’ who have also been booming. But the main factor which led to the record being broken is Fortnite, the game itself.
The game is a phenomenon already reaching legendary status in gaming history. The free-to-play Battle-Royale has garnered much attention most among age groups ranging from 12-25 and is arguably the most popular game in the world at the moment with it being the most popular game on Twitch, which acts as a fair reflection of how popular it is. I mention the age group specifically as the audience of Fortnite is very much a young one – a quick search on YouTube and you can see that those who mostly make this kind of content are targeting this specific demographic. But the game attracts so much more than that. Using footballers as an example, Dele Alli – one of the most promising English talents at the moment and regular starter for Tottenham – has been streaming along with his teammates such as Harry Kane, although if he actually won a game or just finished close to winning is not in my current knowledge. This trend can be seen overseas too with Griezmann using popular dance emotes in the game to celebrate his goal against Arsenal in the Europa League semi-finals.
The game’s meteoric rise in popularity, Ninja’s ability to stream at a high standard and Twitch’s rise in the market of online streaming have all led to this monumental achievement. Ninja should be given more credit than he is currently receiving and we wish him more success in the near future as an ambassador of Twitch streaming.