Top gamer ‘Ninja’ returns to Amazon Twitch after a year-long hiatus

FILE PHOTO: Professional gamer Richard Tyler Bolins aka Ninja arrives for the Time 100 Gala Time magazine celebrated the 100 most influential people in the world on April 23, 2019 in New York, US. REUTERS / Andrew Jelly

(Reuters) – Inc AMZN.O Video game live-streaming platform Twitch said on Thursday that top computer gamer Ninja is back on its platform, more than a year after Microsoft Corp. switched to MSFT.O Live-streaming service mixer.

Tyler Bilwins, known to millions as a ninja, rose to play the role of “Fortnite”, a battle-royale phenomenon and one of the most computer gamers in the world.

Microsoft purchased the mixer in 2016, expecting millions of paying customers to watch a live stream of their favorite gamers playing popular games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.

The videogame industry has benefited substantially in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic as people played more games at home and purchased virtual in-game content across platforms, increasing June sales by 26% to $ 1.2 billion. According to research firm NPD, it is the highest June expense in a decade.

The mixer, which booked Ninja last year, has struggled to shed the shadow of market leader Twitch despite online streaming viewership under a coronovirus lockdown. Microsoft’s Xbox division decided to discontinue the live-streaming service in June this year.

Ninja, which has more than 15 million followers on Twitch, kicked off its stream today with the game “Fall Guys”.

Last year, Blevins was paid $ 1 million to promote Electronic Arts Inc. EA.O Apex Legends, a move that helped the videogame producer add 10 million sign-ups in the first three days, Reuters reported. (

Gamer previously streamed himself to play alongside celebrities such as rappers Drake and Travis Scott, has entered into sponsorship deals with Red Bull and Uber Eats and often appears on Instagram and Twitter alongside football players Neymar Jr. and Harry Kane .

Neha Malara reporting in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Elluri