Popular “Fortnite” streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the first person to reach 10 million followers on Twitch.
Ninja said in a Tweet on Friday the milestone is “seriously ridiculous and the one I am most proud of.” “I have been streaming for a very very long time … and I cannot express how grateful I am to be in the position I am in,” he said.
Variety reached out to Twitch and it confirmed the 10 million milestone is accurate. Social Blade, a website that compiles data from YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, Daily Motion, Mixer, and Instagram claims his current Twitch follower count total is 10,017,583. For comparison, the person with the second-highest follower count, Shroud (formerly known as Meclipse), has 3.9 million.
People who follow a certain Twitch channel receive a notification when it goes live and can easily find it on Twitch’s home page and app. It’s different than subscribing to a Twitch channel, which allows fans to financially support streamers on a monthly basis.
Ninja gained widespread attention earlier this year when he did a “Fortnite” livestream with rapper Drake. The two were joined by rapper Travis Scott and NFL player JuJu Smith-Schuster. That broadcast brought in 628,000 concurrent viewers at one point, breaking a Twitch record. The previous record for a single-channel stream was 388,000 concurrent viewers.
Ninja broke that same record again a month later during an esports event at the Luxor Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. That stream brought in an estimated 667,000 concurrent viewers.
He stirred some controversy in March, however, when he allegedly used a racial slur while ad-libbing Logic’s song “44 More” in a livestream. He later apologized for the incident on Twitter. “While I am confident that most of this is a misunderstanding, I recognize that it’s my responsibility to never let there be THIS kind of a misunderstanding,” he said. “More than anything, I hate that any of my friends, fans, or viewers might feel disrespected.”
“It is my job, and hopefully I’m usually good at it, to make everyone feel welcome, valued, and safe to be themselves. So I apologize to anyone who might feel hurt because I NEVER want that. It’s my stream, and it’s on me to make that right.”
If today’s milestone is any indication, it appears fans have forgiven the misstep.
People can catch Ninja live from Lollapalooza this weekend, where he’ll be playing “Fortnite” with a variety of special guests. The annual music festival ends Aug. 5.