Exactly one year ago today, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was streaming his first Fortnite: Battle Royale gaming session with rapper Drake on Twitch, shattering the platform’s record for most concurrent viewers for a single streamer with 628,000.
Ninja and Drake actually started their session on March 14, 2018, but they played overnight and were just done when the Fortnite servers went down for maintenance for the v3.3 update. Other celebrities like Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster joined Ninja and Drake during the livestream, turning it into one of the most successful broadcasts of Ninja’s streaming career.
That night also put Ninja under the spotlight of the mainstream media. He was already famous within the gaming community and was reaching impressive numbers of followers and subscribers on Twitch, but it was only after his stream with Drake that Ninja started being invited to TV shows like The Ellen Degeneres Show and started being featured in sports magazines and news outlets not specialized in gaming.
Ninja also played with other celebrities after Drake, like Chance the Rapper and English soccer players Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Kieran Trippier. He was even invited to other events that were unrelated to games at first but were adapted to him, like when he streamed the game from Times Square in New York on New Year’s Eve last year.
It’s been some time since Ninja last streamed with a mainstream celebrity. Even so, Ninja continues to be one of the most relevant Fortnite streamers on Twitch and the face of gaming for several people outside of the gaming niche.