Ninja: Drake Made Gaming ‘Cool’ For the Mainstream

Earlier this year, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins made streaming history with a Fortnite gaming session featuring recording star Drake, which reached over 600,000 concurrent viewers at its best and became one of this year’s biggest talking points in the industry. But the streaming session may have left a much larger impression than expected.

Drake Ninja

Variety recently posted a discussion it had with the gaming star, who explained how busy he is these days with his streaming, as well as his appearance on the cover of ESPN Magazine (the first for a gamer, by the way) and stopping by Ellen to play Fortnite with the host.

When asked how it feels becoming the modern face of gaming, he said he doesn’t think about it much. “I don’t really have time to think about things like that. It’s insane with things all day: Interviews, shows, streaming as much as I do.”

But then he reflected on the stream that pushed his popularity to new heights, creating tremendous social media buzz and suddenly made him a household name. In reflection, he actually credits Drake for making it special. “Drake, that is what pushed gaming into the mainstream and made it cool,” Ninja explained.

He also noted how he doesn’t see Drake playing Fortnite that much lately, though he has invited other celebrity gamers to join in his multiplayer matches.

He also feels that his success with his Fortnite streams is measured by the “popularity of the game and the high demand of it being viewed on Twitch and YouTube.” And that isn’t likely to dwindle anytime soon.

For now, Ninja is keeping very busy. Along with a recent appearance on The Game Awards where he got a “shell-fie” with Pepe the Prawn, he’s got a huge New Year’s Eve party coming up in Times Square and really wants to do something with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate now that it’s available.

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As far as what he has planned after that for 2019, he simply said about “three or four amazing things.” Now it’s just a matter of seeing whether or not they can top his gaming with Drake. We’ve got our fingers crossed.

(Hat tip to Variety for the scoop!)