Ninja makes Mixer debut after 'shock' move from Twitch

Ninja Image copyright Getty Images

Ninja has made his streaming debut on Microsoft's Mixer after leaving rival platform Twitch.

In a six-hour stream of Fortnite he had an average of 65,000 viewers.

The gamer, whose real name is Tyler Blevins, was the most followed streamer on Amazon-owned Twitch with 14.7 million followers with around 50,000 viewers a week.

It was seen as a shock move by some fans after Mixer has struggled to compete with Twitch and YouTube Gaming since launching in 2016.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ninja can attract huge crowds at live events as well as online

In a statement about the announcement, Microsoft said it was "thrilled" to be working with Ninja, with the 28-year-old saying he was "freaking out in the best ways" about the move.

Ninja started as a professional Halo player before turning to Fortnite and becoming one of the biggest livestreamers in the world.

He's hosted several major livestream events including a session with Drake and Travis Scott, and became the first gamer on the cover of ESPN Magazine last year.

Although the money involved in the deal hasn't been made public, there's been speculation that it would have taken a sizeable fee for Microsoft to lure him away from the Amazons site.

PewDiePie suggested "a lot of money" would have been involved.

In a video posted after found out about the move the YouTuber, who also recently left Twitch to start live-streaming on DLive, claimed a friend of his had been approached by Mixer to stream with them for "a lot of money" before taking the offer back.

"Good for him [Ninja]... I guess now we know where that money went."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Fortnite world champion Kyle Giersdorf, aka Bugha, appeared on Ninja's first Mixer stream

Ninja's first session on Mixer was given a boost thanks to an appearance from recent Fortnite World Cup champion Bugha.

At its peak the stream, which also came live from Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, attracted just under 96,000 viewers.

While these initial figures are impressive, it will take a few months before it's clear how much of an impact the deal has made for Mixer as the novelty of Ninja being on the platform starts to wear off.

The move has seen other names in the industry discussing what it means for platform competition going forward.

Livestreamer Valkyrae tweeted that the deal was "HUGE for both parties".

She added: "Curious to see how many streamers will also switch/how Twitch will compete with Mixer in the long run."

iamBrandon, who streams on Twitch, described it as "a game-changer".

"Mixer is about to grow a lot more. Don't underestimate the underdog," he said.

"It's a new game now. Prepare yourselves folks."

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