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Tragic Details About Ninja

Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, is one of the biggest streamers on the internet. While he's experienced his ups and downs as a content creator, he's still one of the most prominent names in the esports and streaming world. The streamer has gone through a stunning transformation, working his way from the ground up after making a name for himself as a "Halo" pro player. However, Ninja's shady side has upset a lot of people on his rise to the top. In fact, plenty of other streamers think they could take Ninja in a fight, including people like CouRage and Tfue. Thankfully, that last point hasn't been tested just yet,].


Despite his popularity — and his immense financial success that he hinted at when he broke his silence on high taxes — Ninja has his own tragic stories to tell, including some that are directly related to his streaming career.

Ninja's under a lot of pressure to perform for half the day

It's no secret that streamers can have brutal schedules. When you stream for 12-plus hours every day, it takes a physical toll on your body. However, Ninja pointed out that it's not the physical toll that's stressful.


On the H3 podcast in 2018, Ninja told Ethan and Hila Klein that his worst days streaming are when he's playing badly. The pressure to perform is what mentally drains him and makes him feel "taxed" the most — not the 12 or so hours of streaming he does on a regular day.

Luckily, poor performance days don't happen too often for the streamer, because he's pretty good at the games he plays. His strict streaming schedule definitely helped him hone his skills through the years he's been online. However, streaming probably isn't helping him with another physical issue.

Ninja has severe eye trouble that's led to surgery

In 2020, Ninja revealed that he's had multiple surgeries on his right eye through an Instagram post. Apparently, when he was streaming a lot of "Destiny," NInja's retina in his right eye detached, which led to multiple surgeries for cataracts.


Ninja also mentioned in the caption that he could've ended up completely blind because of the problem — in fact, he said that he's "almost completely blind" in the eye.

Despite the eye issues, Ninja continued to give his fans hours upon hours of streaming content, an impressive feat considering the strain it must've put on his injured eye, especially considering that he streams for at least half of most days.

There are times when Ninja comes on stream wearing glasses, although it's pretty rare. In fact, he became a meme and fans were genuinely concerned about his health when he wore his glasses during one stream.

Ninja's no stranger to mental health battles

Streaming can be a struggle mentally, as Ninja talked about on the H3 podcast. However, Ninja's daily 12-hour streams can take a mental toll after a while, and he learned that the hard way in 2019.

While on a trip to Los Angeles, the streamer took a surprise break from Twitch, according to Win. The outlet explained that Ninja kept turning down offers to use the Red Bull studio and instead spent time with his wife and other friends.


According to Ninja, his chat had become so toxic right before the trip that he just needed to step away. At the same time, he felt like he was stuck in a repeating cycle and needed to reset his mental health: "It's just necessary when you're feeling overwhelmed or you feel like you're stuck in a loop to break out of it ... you've got to take care of yourself first, always."

Being famous has cost Ninja people in his life

While many people look at internet celebrities and think that they have everything, being famous is more complicated than that. Ninja talked about what it feels like to be a hyper-popular internet celebrity in a question-and-answer video in May 2021.


When asked how it feels to be popular, Ninja's immediate reaction was that it doesn't feel good to be that famous and that, while money is great, it can't buy genuine, long-lasting happiness.

He brought up the point that, for 90% of people who have money, there are a lot of sacrifices that come with it. These sacrifices often include "relationships, family, time, love, [and] friendships." Once you've succeeded, Ninja mentioned that it's very hard to know who you can even trust, and it leads to difficulties forming close relationships.

Ninja doesn't go into detail about who he's lost in his life or what specifically being famous has cost him. Luckily, he's got a support system with his wife, Jessica.


Ninja and his wife used to have trouble spending time together

Jessica Blevins has since stepped down from her duties as Ninja's manager, but there was a time when she was pretty much running the whole show. While her husband gamed and made public appearances, she was always making plans and working out the next big deal for the Ninja brand. At the height of his popularity, Ninja would stream for as much as 12 hours a day. As such, work essentially became their lives, to the point where it was difficult to find private time together that wasn't consumed by some form of work.


In 2018, Jessica explained to Business Insider, "For a while when we were dating, something had to change, because he'd just wake up and stream all day until he went to bed. And it's like: This isn't a relationship — we don't really have time together. He just didn't have a schedule. So the best thing he ever did was set a schedule." 

This is more of a potential tragedy, one that was averted with good communication. From the sound of things, setting some boundaries between streaming and personal time saved Jessica and Ninja's relationship, paving the way for an even greater partnership.

Ninja feels like Drake used him for his popularity

2018 feels like a million years ago, so it's hard to put into words how monumental it felt to see Drake and Ninja team up for a game of "Fortnite." The collab set records on Twitch, bringing in well over 600 thousand live viewers and thousands more for the VOD playbacks and clips that followed. The two gamers seemed to have a great time, too, cracking jokes and racking up kills in the beloved battle royale. However, this partnership was not built to last.


A few months after the momentous broadcast, Ninja told viewers that he felt like Drake had used his rising Twitch popularity to build up his own brand. "I feel like Drake saw that I was up-and-coming in the gaming scene, and he thought it would be a perfect way to just tap into another source of viewers by playing with me," he said. Ninja would later claim on X (then Twitter) that Drake still owed him money for the collaboration. Not long afterwards, Drake unfollowed Ninja on Instagram — a perceived slight that definitely caught the attention of both entertainers' fans. Sadly, what seemed like a budding friendship between two superstars ended before it could really get going.


An injury forced him to take a streaming break

If you don't think about it too hard, being a professional streamer sounds like a vacation. You get to spend all day playing video games or making videos with your friends. In reality, streaming is a demanding job, with some folks having to put in 12 hour days just to maintain an audience. Taking any kind of break can be risky, and even when you aren't in front of your computer, you need to be thinking about when you'll be logging in next. Back in 2022, Ninja learned this lesson the hard way. 


After being constantly online for a long stretch of days, he suddenly vanished for more than half a week. Breaks are rare, but unannounced breaks are almost unheard of in the streaming industry. When Ninja finally made his way back to the screen, he told his fans the painful reason why he needed the break

Ninja had gone out on a boat, trying to enjoy a rare bit of time away from his desk. He would have been back to streaming the very next day, but at one point he jumped off the boat into the water, only to find it was pretty shallow. Ninja's heel collided hard with the ground, and while he didn't break it, he was in miserable pain for days and didn't feel up to streaming. It's can be hard for streamers to relax when danger lurks around every corner. 


His Mixer dreams fell through

Taking a break is a risky move for a streamer, but switching platforms is even riskier. Only the most dedicated fans will bother tracking down a streamer's new home. For many viewers, if you aren't showing up on your regular platform, you might as well have dropped off the face of the Earth. Despite the risks, Ninja decided to leave Twitch for Microsoft's upstart streaming platform Mixer in 2019. Ninja's fans know that the move didn't work out as he had planned, but the Mixer deal was even worse than most people think. The move genuinely upset a ton of people, with the Twitch vs. Mixer argument becoming part of some people's online identities for a while. It turns out that some viewers are more loyal to a platform than the people they watch.


Ninja likely lost more viewers than he expected because of the platform war, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Ninja showed up on Mixer committed to building up his audience and supporting the platform in a big way. On "The CouRage and Nadeshot Podcast," Ninja revealed that even though he was contracted for 150 streaming hours each month, he was putting in double that amount. Despite his dedication, Microsoft pulled the plug on Mixer less than a year after Ninja made the move. It was a sudden rug pull, as Ninja explains: "We found out like 72 hours, 48 hours before it happened." That's pretty harsh.

Ninja's Twitch account got hijacked

Ninja's transition from Twitch to Mixer wasn't particularly easy, even when you put aside the loss in viewership. Ninja also discovered that the empty husk of his channel was being used to promote other content creators — as well as an extremely different type of content altogether.


As Ninja explained in a clip posted to social media, he and his team felt like Twitch had been a little passive-aggressive during the move, noting, "[There] were kind of annoying little jabs we felt like, but it didn't matter, we wanted to stay professional." However, Ninja found he couldn't ignore things any longer when his old channel began promoting adult content without his say-so.

Ninja was furious, noting that Twitch did not seem to be using anyone else's abandoned channels to promote other creators, save for his channel that boasted well over 14 million subscribers at the time. Ninja was so displeased that he attempted to have his old channel outright deleted. Thankfully, it never came to that, and Ninja still had a channel to return to after his time with Mixer came to an end. Still, the streamer clearly viewed this as an embarrassing blow to his brand and his trust in Twitch overall.


The bizarre death hoax

The internet is a strange place where goofy, one-off jokes can spiral out of control and become massive news stories that alarm a great number of people. That's why there have been so many bizarre death hoaxes in the streaming world. A streamer or one of their viewers will make some innocuous comment, and the next thing they know, their fake obituary is trending on Twitter.


In the world of death hoaxes, Ninja's may have been the silliest. In 2018, an Instagram user with the handle Ninja_Hater made a post claiming that the streamer had developed a terminal condition. Instead of laughing it off, fans latched on and word spread until even major news outlets had to publish reports dispelling the hoax.

There were a couple of signs that Ninja's condition wasn't real that fans probably should have caught. For one thing, "Ninja_Hater" doesn't sound like the most reliable source for Ninja news. For another, the account claimed that the condition Ninja had developed was called Ligma — an obvious set-up for a dirty joke we won't explain here.

He's been diagnosed with skin cancer

Unfortunately, the latest news about Ninja's health is not a hoax. On March 26, 2024, Ninja made a post announcing that he'd been diagnosed with cancer.


In the post Ninja explains that he had a mole on his foot that he wanted to get removed. When he went into the doctor, they realized that the mole was actually melanoma. They did a biopsy on the surrounding area and were optimistic that they'd caught the melanoma early enough that they'd be able to successfully treat it. "I'm grateful to have hope in finding this early, but please take this as a PSA to get skin checkups," Ninja said.

Streamers have been reacting to the diagnosis with love and support for Ninja and his wife Jessica. The streaming world is pretty interconnected, so a lot of the big names in the space have some kind of personal attachment to Ninja, and they're wishing him the best. The upshot of all this is that because Ninja has such a massive fanbase, he's has already managed to spread awareness about melanoma to many people who might otherwise not know much about it.