Tyler Blevins, also known by his online alias “Ninja,“ visited the Westfield Century City Mall on Dec. 1. Blevins is an online gamer who mostly plays Fortnite on the popular streaming platform Twitch. He is currently the most popular streamer in the world according to Twitch statistics, having amassed over 12 million followers on Twitch and over 20 million subscribers on Youtube. His brand took off in the past year, when he went from averaging just 5,000 viewers per stream to nearly 79,000. His sudden thrust into the limelight can be greatly attributed to the release of Fortnite, a 100 player shooter battle royal and the most popular game of the year
During the event at Century City, Blevins promoted the release of the Ninja edition of Finalmouse. This gaming mouse combines smooth design with impeccable performance, it is one of the top mouses on the market right now. The event gave people the opportunity to be the first ones to purchase the mouse while giving a small number of lucky people the opportunity to meet Ninja himself.
“It was a long wait but we were first in line and I was able to sneak back in to get another mouse,” Collin Field ‘23 said.
As many too soon realized, the Finalmouse event was extremely inefficient, with wait times upwards of three hours just for people to be able to obtain the mouse. Another issue was the quantity of the mice as, after the second of three waves of people, the event organizers ran out of mice.
In an interview with Harvard-Westlake (HW), Blevins said, “At the Finalmouse event, I was literally pooping my pants. I heard people were standing in a line that was a mile long. I wanted to make sure everyone who signed up for the event got a mouse. It was super hype; I got to meet a bunch of amazing fans and it was everything that I could have imagined. The new mouse is better than the last mouse in every way imaginable, and I was glad to have the chance to collaborate with the company.”
Everyone seemed to share the opinion that the event was poorly constructed, but still hundreds upon hundreds of people showed up for the chance to meet Blevins.
The significance in Blevin’s style is his combination of skill and witty entertainment. After he wins his first game on stream, he dances a special “Pon Pon” that he created three years ago and has danced every day since then. By playing with his friends and many big name celebrities, Blevins has expanded his brand all over the world. One of the most notable occasions was in April 2018 when he broke the Twitch viewer record while playing with the world famous rapper, Drake. Blevins makes it a goal of every stream to keep his viewers happy and to get rid of any negative emotions during the day.
Many HW students watch his streams, for example, Ben Webber ’22. “I usually watch Ninja to relax after doing a bunch of homework or after a long practice.” Webber said.
Blevins has used his huge following and put it to good use. This past year, Blevins has raised millions of dollars for numerous charitable causes, such as the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Alzheimer’s Association. He will often dress up or play with different challenges in order to encourage people to donate money to good causes.
Blevins is one of the few streamers to always mention and end his streams with a message to do good for other people. Just these small acts can encourage his millions of impressionable fans to do better for their own communities.