Streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins may be making the leap to YouTube after Microsoft announced it was closing its streaming site Mixer last week. Ninja moved to Mixer from Twitch last year, reportedly due to conflicts about his contract at Amazon’s streaming site.
Ninja’s move from Twitch to Mixer was seen as the first wave in what would become a migration away from the dominant streaming service. Once Ninja jumped ship, other popular streamers like Cory “Gothalion” Michael, Soleil “Ewok” Wheeler, and Michael “shroud” Grzesiek soon followed and others left for YouTube. Ninja caught some criticism from both fans and fellow streamers for moving to Microsoft’s less popular streaming site, but reportedly netted as much as $30 million in his move to Mixer. Despite streamers leaving in droves in 2019, problems with abuse at the company, and a community divided over uneven rule enforcement, Twitch recovered in 2020, hitting viewership records in the first part of the year.
With Mixer closing for good, it looks like Ninja may be migrating to yet another new platform. Twitter user HYPEX spotted a video simply called “Test” on Ninja’s YouTube channel. The video was quickly made private, but not quickly enough to keep screenshots of the video from making the rounds. While Ninja himself hasn’t made any announcements, the test video is fueling speculation that Ninja will be making the move to YouTube. Ninja’s manager and wife Jessica Blevins tweeted earlier this week “this week will be fun,” which many took to mean that a big announcement from the streamer would be coming soon. When Mixer closed, Ninja was offered a spot on Facebook Gaming, but declined the offer, which leaves a very short list of possible sites he could be moving to.
Ninja most likely signed to youtube, he currently has a test stream scheduled, probably didn't mean to make it public but this is a huge hint.. pic.twitter.com/e4bd6lhD8M— HYPEX (@HYPEX) July 7, 2020
While Ninja seems like he’ll come out of Mixer’s closure no worse for wear, others aren’t as lucky. Smaller streamers without the name recognition of Ninja are having a harder time getting their audiences to follow them as they use their Mixer pages to advertise their channels on other streaming services. It seems that Ninja’s arrival to Mixer wasn’t necessarily good news for these smaller streamers either, as the site shifted resources away from them and toward bigger names.
While Ninja’s move to YouTube hasn’t been confirmed, it would make a lot of sense. After he turned down a deal with Facebook Gaming, YouTube and Twitch were essentially the only places for him to go, and it seems unlikely that Ninja would move back to Amazon’s platform after his public split just a year ago.