Ninja turns 28 today—here’s what he’s accomplished and missed in the past year

Ninja's past year represented his rise into mainstream.

Photo via Red Bull

Star streamer and gaming personality Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is turning 28 today. His birthday closes out a successful year in his career.

Ninja accomplished a lot in Fortnite and gaming in the past year, but his 27th year represented his rise into mainstream media and business.

In Fortnite, Ninja almost became the first player to reach 100,000 eliminations when he raced against fellow streamer Jimmy “HighDistortion” Moreno. He lost, but he was still among the first three players in the world to hit that milestone. Ninja had no competitors, however, when he became the first PC player to reach 5,000 wins in Fortnite, a milestone that only eight other players have reached so far on the platform.

He’s also become Epic Games’ partner for events like the Fortnite Creative World Cup. He hosted one of the qualifier Trials for the event with a course he made for the competition.

Ninja’s success in gaming went beyond Fortnite. With the release and rise of Apex Legends in February, he became one of the game’s top streamers and won the first tournaments of the game, Twitch Rivals and Code Red. On Twitch, he also had record-breaking stats in his streams, and only top streamers like Michael “shroud” Grzesiek and Jaryd “summit1g” Lazar were able to top his achievements in the long run.

In the mainstream, Ninja became the face of gaming. He was on TV a few times on Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres’ shows, which presented him to a different audience than the one that watches his stream. He was the star of events with live audiences such as Lollapalooza and the New Year’s Eve at Times Square, where he played Fortnite live with fellow streamers.

Ninja’s success was recognized by the media at large—he was featured in Forbes’ 2019 30 under 30 and became the first professional gamer to be featured in an ESPN magazine cover.

His rise to mainstream helped Ninja achieve success within business. With Fortnite, he reportedly earned $10 million in 2018. That helped him release his own brand of clothes and personal items, but he was also featured in products of sponsors such as Red Bull cans.

Ninja was also involved in fair his share of controversy over the past year. He’s been refusing to livestream with women, as he told Polygon and confirmed in his own stream afterward. As a married man, he worries people will gossip about streams and insinuate flirtatious moments that never happened. He said no women that stream on Twitch was ever upset about that, but plenty of women felt his decision was far from helpful.

He was also criticized by the Fortnite community for calling for bans to players who were allegedly stream sniping him. This led to a situation where he was calling for a ban against a player who had proof he wasn’t spectating Ninja while playing.

The upcoming year in for Ninja will bring him a few challenges. The only thing that he seems to be missing in his gaming career is a competitive success, as he’s failed to qualify for several professional competitions, including the Fortnite World Cup. He still has two more weeks to do so, one for Solo and another for Duos.

If Ninja goes to the Fortnite World Cup, it will be safe to say he’s taken over every corner a professional player can take in their career.