The Return of the King: Ninja, a video game star, Back to Twitch

BERKELEY, California. – In 2010, LeBron James created “The Decision”, leaving his hometown of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat to upgrade the NBA.

Several months ago, Tom Brady jolted the NFL by choosing to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and left his longtime team, the New England Patriots, with whom he had won six Super Bowls.

And on Thursday, Tyler Bilwins, a 29-year-old video game superstar known as Ninja, made a choice, setting a similar rebirth in the gaming world. The Fortnite player, who became famous by livening up his play to millions of fans, said that he is coming back to stream exclusively on Amazon-owned platform Twitch, where he gained his huge following.

“I am excited to be streaming full time and engaging with my loyal fan base,” Mr. Blevins said in a statement.

To make a decision, he released a short Twitter video in which he directly saw the camera playing music. “A new chapter begins …”, the video said, followed by a bomb emoji, animated images of Mr. Blevins and, finally, the big reveal – the purple Twitch logo.

“In this next chapter, I’m going to make it a point to bring in more and more eye-popping creators,” Mr. Blevins said. “I am looking forward to working with Twitch to see how this amazing community of gamers can make a meaningful impact.”

The terms of the multiyear deal between Mr Bolins and Twitch were unclear, but the move was a win for the platform. Twitch has dominated the video game liverstreaming industry, but it lost to Mr Bolins in the Microsoft-owned upstart platform Mixer in 2019. Mr. Boliver made $ 20 million to $ 30 million by the time he announced the mixer in June. It was closing.

In the coming months, where Mr. Blevins would end up next was the subject of widespread speculation. Fans also pointed to the color of their brightly dyed hair as to which stage they could choose.

In July, Mr. Blevins featured his tweet game, Fortnite, on gossip and briefs with brief tweets on YouTube. His return to Twitch immediately delighted fans and fellow streamers.

Michael Aragon, a twitch vice president, said the site was “thrilled” with the return of its top attraction.

“Tiger is an iconic force in the gaming community, and it is amazing to see the impact he has had on the industry and the wider culture,” Mr. Aragon said in a statement. “Gaming – and those who love it – are being recognized by a wider mainstream audience now in part because of Tyler, and we know he’s just getting started.”

Mr. Blevins has almost a unique ability to draw a following. Even though he has not been streamed on Twitch since leaving last year, he is still the top streamer on the site, having 15 million followers – six million more than the next-highest streamer. He celebrated his return on Thursday afternoon.

Doron Neer, chief executive of Liverstreaming service provider StreamAllis, said Mr Bolins’ move was the latest salvo in the Liverstreaming battle being fought by key sites.

Pointing to YouTube and Facebook Gaming, he said, “Ninja’s return to Twitch helps solidify it as a prime destination for livestreaming, but other platforms are still alive and well.”