Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, the patron saint of Twitch, announced today that he is moving his channel over to the significantly less popular streaming platform Mixer. News of the frankly shocking transition comes the day before Blevins’ Lollapalooza stream, which will now take place here on Mixer.
“I know this may come as a shock to many of you, but as of today, I will be streaming exclusively on Mixer,” Blevins, who has 15 million Twitch followers, said in a video posted to Twitter. “I feel like this is a really good chance to get back in touch with my roots and really remember why I fell in love with streaming in the first place.” Here’s the video:
Mixer, which is owned by Microsoft, pulls viewer numbers that pale in comparison to Twitch’s. According to recent data from StreamElements, the two-year-old platform has three percent of all livestreaming hours watched to Twitch’s 72 percent.
Twitch offered their own statement on the loss of their biggest streamer: “We’ve loved watching Ninja on Twitch over the years and are proud of all that he’s accomplished for himself and his family, and the gaming community. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.” Currently, Blevins’ new Mixer chat is blowing up, moving faster than light with questions, welcome statements, “POGGERS,” and other internet-y language honed by Twitch culture. Meanwhile, Ninja’s “partnered” check mark has been removed from his channel.
In a follow-up video, Blevins explained that he’d been holding onto the news for a while now, but didn’t further clarify the reasons behind his decision. One source with knowledge of the streaming industry says Mixer has offered money for streamers to switch over, with some deals exceeding $1 million. Kotaku has reached out to Blevins and Mixer for comment on whether that was the case.
At the end of the announcement video, the camera pans to a fridge of Red Bull, one of Blevins’ sponsors, dressed in journalist garb. Ninja responds as if it asked a question: “Wow, I mean, that was one of the best questions I’ve ever been asked.”