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Ninja returns to Twitch in exclusive deal

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is returning to Twitch, the two sides announced Thursday.

Ninja, a former professional Halo player, was the biggest star on Twitch before he left the service in August 2019 in favor of the Microsoft-owned Mixer. But in July, when Microsoft transferred the streaming service to Facebook Gaming, Ninja became a free agent.

Contract terms for his return to Twitch were not announced, only that it was a multi-year exclusive-rights deal.

When Ninja signed with Mixer, Forbes said the multi-year contract there was worth between $20 million and $30 million.

Ninja, a 29-year-old from Illinois, has more than 15 million Twitch followers and major sponsorship deals with Adidas and Red Bull. Forbes estimated his earnings in 2019 at $17 million.

“We are thrilled Ninja is returning to Twitch,” said Michael Aragon, the senior vice president of content at Twitch, in a news release. “Tyler is an iconic force in the gaming community, and it’s been amazing to see the impact he’s made on the industry and broader culture. Gaming — and the people who love it — are being recognized by a broad mainstream audience now in part because of Tyler, and we know he’s just getting started.”

Two years ago, Ninja had one of the biggest single-creator streams in Twitch history when he played Fortnite with rapper Drake. At one time, 635,000 people were watching the stream.

“I am excited to get back to streaming full-time and connecting with my loyal fanbase,” Ninja said in the release. “I really took my time to decide which platform was best and Twitch has been very supportive throughout this process and understanding my overall career goals. In this next chapter, I’m going to make it a point to elevate and bring more eyes to underrepresented creators. I am looking forward to working with Twitch to demonstrate how this amazing community of gamers can make a meaningful impact.”

–Field Level Media

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