Tyler “Ninja” Blevins may be known as one of the most-watched influencers in gaming, but this past weekend, he reaffirmed his commitment to competitive Fortnite with an eighth-place finish during the Fortnite Champion Series finals for the North American East region.
Following the competition, Ninja expressed his post-game feelings in a Twitter video. He said that he was pleased with the results of his four-man team that included Nate Hill, Trevor “Funk” Siegler, and Malachi “Reserve2k” Greiner.
Ninja also took the opportunity to detail how he felt about his personal performance and future as a Fortnite esports competitor, not just a talented entertainer.
“I’m happy with how I played and how far I’ve come in terms of my individual talent,” Ninja said. “I definitely fell off a lot when I really wasn’t focusing on competing. I wasn’t practicing my building, my editing. I wasn’t practicing literally anything, but I definitely think I’m back up to par with every single top player, and it feels good.”
The genesis of Ninja’s competitive career as a Fortnite gamer included numerous strong finishes during Daniel “KEEMSTAR” Keem’s Friday Fortnite competitions when the game was on its initial rise in 2018. When Epic Games hosted its first official competitive event in June 2018, a celebrity pro-am for charity at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Ninja won the event with American DJ Marshmello as his teammate.
Since then, though, he hasn’t been able to play at the same competitive level. In 2019, Ninja struggled to place any better than seventh during Fortnite World Cup qualifying and his best performance was during the Creative competition at the World Cup, where he placed fourth.
At the end of his video, Ninja said that he’ll keep practicing and focus on upcoming Fortnite esports events, including both solo and duo competitions. He added that he plans to continue playing with Reverse2k as his duo partner. The two competed together throughout the spring during World Cup qualifying.