How much money does Ninja make?
It's been a long journey to the top for Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. But at 26 years old, he's the king of Twitch.
He has more than 186,000 subscribers at the time of writing, over 3.5 million Twitch followers, and broke the internet when he streamed Fortnite with Drake to over 600,000 viewers.
Ninja started out as a competitive Halo player in 2009, starting with Halo 3 and competing in the game for the next seven years through to Halo 5. He competed for teams like Cloud9, Team Liquid, and Renegades, winning a number of tournaments including the MLG Fall Championship 2012.
While still competing Halo, Ninja branched out into streaming. He started out streaming Halo, and added games like Titanfall and Call of Duty to his schedule. Eventually he picked up H1Z1, and battle royale titles took him into the next phase of his career.
After H1Z1 came Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, and Ninja joined Luminosity Gaming. He won the PUBG Gamescom Invitational squads event, and moved on to full-time streaming with Fortnite. And that's when things exploded.
Now he's the most popular streamer on Twitch, and has broken just about every record there is to break. He reportedly broke the record for subscribers when he passed 50,000 on Feb. 22—now he has over 186,000.
That could change pretty soon, as many of those are Twitch Prime subs. Those started rolling in when Twitch and Fortnite teamed up to offer Twitch Prime loot in the game. Even still, if Ninja retains even half of his current total he will be the most successful streamer by far.
So how much does Ninja really make?
That's a complicated question. There are three different potential income streams—donations, subscriptions, and sponsorships.
Ninja is still sponsored by Luminosity Gaming, but it is unknown what kind of fee he might receive for that. Obviously he is now offering Luminosity's sponsors, like Scuf Gaming, prime Twitch real estate. Donations are also impossible to know for sure. But on any given stream, you will see Ninja get donations totaling thousands of dollars into cash, bits, and even cryptocurrency.
We can make some decent estimates for Ninja's streaming revenue though. In an interview with Forbes, Ninja confirmed he earns $3.50 for every $4.99 Twitch subscription. For a total of 186,000 subscribers, that's a whopping $651,000 per month.
How much is that in gaming terms? Well, that means that in less than six months he would earn more money than the most successful esports professional of all time in prize money terms—Dota 2 player Kuro "KuroKy" Takhasomi—has made in his career. KuroKy has made over $3.5 million, mostly from winning the 2017 International tournament.
Will the growth last? It's hard to say. At some point, surely, his subscriber number has to plateau. Maybe once the Twitch Prime subs expire in a few weeks, there will be a big drop off. But even then he will be pocketing a sizeable six-figure sum every month—and having a ton of fun doing it.