Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, the hugely popular Fortnite streamer, began streaming on YouTube on Wednesday. Blevins teased an announcement earlier in the day — tweeting “one hour” — before posting a YouTube link to a scheduled Fortnite stream with Timothy “TimTheTatman” Betar, Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, and Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo.
Blevins left Twitch in 2019 and signed an exclusive deal with Microsoft’s livestreaming platform, Mixer. However, his contract ended in June when Microsoft shut down Mixer and began transitioning its streamers to Facebook Gaming.
Several big name streamers with lucrative contracts made the transition from Twitch to Mixer — but many expected some of those streamers to immediately return to Twitch following Mixer’s closure. Despite a big payout from Microsoft, popular streamers were often unable to pull in as large of an audience on Mixer as they did on Twitch.
At the start of Blevins’ YouTube stream, he amassed an audience of more than 150,000 viewers. He said during the stream that it’s his first livestream on YouTube. However, he has tons of videos on the service, with more than 2.2 billion views, according to YouTube head of gaming Ryan Wyatt. It’s unclear at this time whether Blevins will sign an exclusivity deal with a streaming service, but his stream on YouTube is not necessarily indicative of a deal with the Google-owned video site. According to esports insider Rod Breslau, Blevins is “currently in negotiations with streaming platforms and no exclusive deal has yet been signed, including YouTube.”