Ninja leaves Twitch to stream exclusively on Mixer


Mixer making moves

The smallest of the major video game streaming platforms just recruited the biggest personality. In a landmark move, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has inked an agreement to leave his Twitch channel behind in order to stream exclusively on Microsoft-owned Mixer.

The next chapter,

— Ninja (@Ninja) August 1, 2019

The reason this comes as such a shock is because Ninja is easily the most popular streamer on Twitch. He has amassed nearly 15 million followers (although that number is dropping in response to today’s news). That’s more than double the count of Shroud, Twitch’s second most popular streamer, who has 6.7 million followers. Ninja was king on Twitch and it wasn’t really close.

It goes without saying, but Mixer must’ve presented Ninja with some sort of Godfather offer to get him to leave his Twitch channel behind. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but it has to be awfully lucrative for Ninja to take up a significantly smaller platform. Of note, the announcement was wisely timed to coincide with the debut of FortniteSeason X meaning viewers have extra incentive to tune into a stream today.

According to data published by Streamlabs, Twitch was watched nearly 23 times as much as Mixer in the second quarter of 2019 (2.7 trillion hours compared to 119.1 million hours). Mixer is growing, though; its hours-watched metric is up 357 percent year-over-year and 32 percent quarter-over-quarter.

In a statement to Polygon, Twitch said “We’ve loved watching Ninja on Twitch over the years and are proud of all that he’s accomplished for himself and his family, and the gaming community. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.” However, as PC Gamer noted, it didn’t take Twitch very long at all to remove Ninja’s verified partner checkmark. Despite the well-meaning public statement, it’s easy to see why Twitch might feel scorned. Its biggest draw just got poached by a competitor. It won’t fully tip the scales — Twitch should remain the most popular streaming service for the foreseeable future — but it’s definitely a blow. The streaming wars are heating up.