Richard Tyler Blevins who is better known as Ninja is an American professional gamer and video game streamer. Ninja began streaming through participating in several esports teams in competitive play for Halo 3. He gradually picked up fame in late 2017 when he started playing Fortnite Battle Royale. It was in March 2018 that his rise in mainstream media began when he played Fortnite together with Drake, Travis Scott and JuJu Smith-Schuster on stream. This broke a peak viewer count record on Twitch. As of January 2021 Ninja with over 16.7 million followers, is the most followed Twitch channel.
Ninja was born on 5 June 1991 in Detroit, Michigan, US. His family moved to Grayslake when he was a year old. Ninja’s father, Chuck Blevins was a gamer himself and this had a huge influence on Ninja. Ninja’s mother Cynthia Blevins was a homemaker. Ninja has two brothers Jonathan and Chris.
Jonathan is also a streamer who goes by the name BeardedBlevins on Twitch. Chris is a teacher at Lakes Community High School.
Ninja is married to Jessica Goch since 2017. They met for the first time at 2010 Focus Fire Halo Tournament in La Crosse. The two stayed in contact since then and started dating in 2013, Jessica became Ninja’s manager in 2015. She manages Team Ninja, the business aspect of his work.
Ninja did his schooling from Grayslake Central High School. He played soccer while in school.
In 2009 Ninja started playing Halo professionally. He played for various organizations including Renegades, Cloud9, Team Liquid and the most recent being Luminosity Gaming. He joined Luminosity in 2017. He joined as a Halo player, then to H1Z1 and later moved to PUBG. In August 2017 Ninja won the PUBG Gamescom Invitational Squads classification.
Ninja became a streamer in 2011. He began streaming the Fortnite Battle Royale shortly after the Gamescom win. His viewership grew along with the game’s growth in popularity which was around late 2017 to early 2018. By March 2018, he had over 2 million followers as compared to 500,000 in September 2017.
In March 2018 Ninja set the Twitch record for the longest concurrent audience on an individual live stream that too outside of tournament events. He had 635,000 viewers while he played Fortnite with Drake, Travis Scott and JuJu Smith-Schuster. Inspired by this stream, Epic Games, the developers behind Fortnite hosted a charitable pro-am event featuring popular streamers like Ninja paired with celebrities in Fortnite at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018 (E3 2018) that year in June.
Ninja broke his viewing record during his event Ninja Vegas 2018 with an audience of about 667,000 live viewers in April 2018.
In June 2018 Ninja partnered with Red Bull Esports and held a special Fortnite event called The Red Bull Rise Till Dawn in Chicago where players could challenge him.
Ninja left Twitch in August 2019 to stream exclusively on Microsoft’s Mixer platform. Several reports suggest his deal with Mixer was worth $20 million. After the shutdown of Mixer in July 2020, he returned to Twitch in September 2020 after signing an exclusive multiyear deal.
In 2018, Ninja won in the Live Streamer and Gaming category at the Streamy Awards. In the same year, he won the Esports Personality of the Year Award at the Esports Awards and Content Creator of the Year Awards at The Game Awards 2018.
In 2019 he won Twitch Streamer of the Year Award at the Shorty Awards and Live Streamer at the Streamy Awards.
The estimated net worth of Ninja is 22 million. He earns from the revenue from streaming, his YouTube channel, merch sales and sponsorship deals.
As of December 2020, he had over 24 million YouTube subscribers and earned $500,000 per month from streaming Fortnite. Currently, he has 24.2 million subscribers. He has 14.3 million followers on Instagram, 6.5 million on Twitter and over 553,000 people follow his Facebook page.
According to a report by Reuters, Ninja had been paid $1 million by Electronic Arts to promote a competing battle royale game to Fortnite called Apex Legends. He received the amount to play the game on his Twitch stream and to promote the title through his social media account during Apex release in February 2019.