By Liam Day & Mason Steinberg
Have you ever wanted to make money playing video games every day? Tyler Blevins, known online as Ninja, has recently exploded on Twitch and YouTube playing the popular game Fortnite. He has easily turned his lifetime hobby of PC gaming into a career that makes more
than professional athletes. Blevins’ story shows that with just a drive to pursue your passion, anyone can turn a hobby into a successful career.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins was born June 5th, 1991 in Grayslake Illinois. His love for gaming started at a very young age when his dad indirectly exposed him to the world of gaming. Blevins explained that “It all started with my dad who would go and play ‘till the middle of the night, this meant me and my brother would play all day.” Ninja originally made a name for himself in playing Halo Reach. He dropped out of college to attend multiple world-wide competitions in which he won prize money to purchase a top of the line streaming computer. From this he earned popularity on a website called Twitch where gamers can stream themselves playing live and get paid for it based on views. However every successful career has an obstacle.
The major speed bump in his career was in 2014 when he was diagnosed with a Retinal Detachment, which is when part of the eye pulls away from it’s supportive tissue, this forced him to temporarily stop streaming and lose thousands of followers. This only encouraged him to work his way back to the top by getting better at a new game called Fortnite. His early involvement in the game along with its booming popularity quickly made him one of Twitch.com’s most watched streamers.
Fortnite has become a constant topic at Glenelg as it seems like every 10-18 year old in the United States plays it. Daily Fortnite player at Glenelg Matt Nagle said, “Ninja is obviously the best player in the world, I watch his videos to get better all the time.” Ninja has impacted people into Fortnite by making them more competitive to be as good as him. His name is brought up whenever a discussion is brought up regarding who is the best at Fortnite. Sophomore at GHS Ryan Cauley argued, “He never loses because of anyone being better than him, it's always a mistake he made.” Ninja has not only made himself recognized for his play, but he is also a very self aware and down-to-earth person. He often answer life questions and offers advice to his fans that watch his stream.
After just six months of playing the game, Blevins followers have continued to skyrocket and are currently growing faster than they ever have. He has recently been increasing at a rate of 1,000,000 subscribers PER WEEK. From dropping out of college after two years, Blevins now makes approximately $20,000 per stream (which is daily) and has made over $500,000 in the last month. Tyler Blevins’ story of taking a risk to pursue his passion has turned him into a multi-millionaire and should inspire kids looking up to him to not settle to make a living like everyone else. He also emphasizes that any successful career has a turning point that is meant to challenge them. But instead, strive to follow your passion and do what makes you happy.