Credit: Tyler “Ninja” Blevins
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins had the biggest breakout year for any gaming personality on Twitch in 2018. So it only makes sense that he would ring in the new year with a bang on the platform by live streaming from Times Square.
With help from one of his biggest sponsors, Red Bull, Blevins produced a 12-hour stream through the ball drop that accumulated 1.71M hours watched and a max CCV of 262.73K.
The evening included moderation from well-known esports broadcaster Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez, and there were several appearances from Blevins’ highly popular streaming colleagues like Timothy “TimTheTatman” Betar and Ben “DrLupo” Lupo.
While there were numerous games of Fortnite that were played, a relaxed party-like atmosphere was supported by music from Blevins’ recently released “Ninjawerks” album that was regularly played.
Viewership for Blevins’ event was strong, even by his lofty standards, but it didn’t manage to match some of his other strong streams this year. In March, with help from rappers Drake and Travis Scott, as well as NFL star JuJu Smith-Schuster, Blevins smashed the record for peak concurrent viewership on Twitch with 628K CCV, and even outside of that, Blevins had 13 separate streams that posted a higher peak CCV than his New Year’s Eve stream did around the time that the ball dropped in New York.
Ninja’s New Year’s Eve stream was one of his top five most watched individual sessions of the year. That top five includes Blevins’ March stream with Drake as well as his April tournament at Esports Arena Las Vegas. The other notable streaming session that drew more hours watched was on June 29 when Blevins won Daniel “KEEMSTAR” Keem’s Fortnite Friday tournament.
Additionally, Blevins surpassed his New Year’s Eve total a few times for daily hours watched, which at times was divided among a couple of streams. His most-watched day of the year was June 30 with 3.14M, the day of Fortnite’s in-game rocket launch event.
While the success of Blevins’ celebrity-laden, event-driven content seemed to plateau to a degree as the year wore on, he was 2018’s most-watched streamer by a large margin, and his viewership at the end of the year was still hovering around the top among Twitch streamers.
As Blevins continually dominated Twitch with events in 2018, he added more and more sponsors to his portfolio ranging from non-endemic brands like PSD Underwear and Uber Eats to larger brands like Samsung and Red Bull. As a result, Blevins’ New Year’s Eve stream was a sign that he isn’t done making waves and breaking barriers on Twitch.
Moving forward, there will be increased pressure for Blevins to continue to attract celebrities to his stream and come up with unique events that mobilize Fortnite fans, but if any person could do it, that person would be Blevins.
Though he has already attracted sponsors from a wide range of sectors, his open-mindedness and progressive attitude toward reshaping what content on Twitch can be still make him the prime candidate for large brands looking to activate in the gaming industry. His massive reach and connection with popular culture have allowed him to practically transcend Twitch, and his growth in 2018 will likely not be something that can be replicated.
However, if his New Year’s Eve event is any indication of what Blevins has left in the tank, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him ride last year’s success into 2019 and continue bringing content and viewership to Twitch that was previously unimaginable.