Why it matters: Mixer is trying to leverage its relationship with popular Fortnite streamer Ninja to put on a weekly tournament. The series will include many well-known streamers, all competing for $400,000 in prize money. Since many physical sports leagues are temporarily suspended, this is probably the best tournament while quarantined.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins made a huge splash last fall when he signed an exclusivity deal to stream on Mixer. He subsequently went on to amass a million subscribers in less than a week and currently has over three million. Now, Mixer is leveraging its Fortnite star by creating a tournament series called Ninja Battles Featuring Fortnite.
Originally reported by Deadline, the series will feature 60 Fortnite stars and other popular streamers like Nate Hill and Soleil “Ewok” Wheeler from Faze Clan and Fortnite World Cup champion Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf. The tournament starts today and repeats every Thursday through July with players vying for $400,000 in prize money.
“I joined Mixer to push boundaries, create different types of streaming content and interact with fans in new ways,” Ninja said in an official statement. “Ninja Battles brings a new kind of gameplay to the community. I am excited to share this competitive experience with my fans as well as have my fellow gamers and friends participate.”
Along with competing, Ninja will be co-producing the event with his management team Loaded and host it on his Mixer channel. Because of various stay at home orders and social distancing considerations, each streamer will film from their own homes. Well-known Fortnite broadcasters BallaTW and MonsterDface will commentate during the tournament.
I’m excited to announce Ninja Battles! An online Fortnite invitational series featuring six events across May – July, each with an $80,000 prize pool. Starts tomorrow Thursday, May 28 at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET. https://t.co/lvn9KBjEYq #NinjaBattles pic.twitter.com/kg4ncHevQ6
— Ninja (@Ninja) May 27, 2020
There has been a rush by the different streaming platforms to lock down popular streamers to ensure growth. Shroud followed Ninja to Mixer, Facebook nabbed Disguised Toast and Corinna Kopf and YouTube signed an exclusive deal with Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie. The reigning champion of streaming, Twitch, signed a multi-year deal with Imane “Pokimane” Anys.
That said, Fortnite is still one of the most popular games in the world despite fierce competition from Valorant, Apex Legends, and Modern Warfare’s Warzone. Ninja’s popularity combined with the star power of the other tournament participants could give Mixer a huge boost in numbers this summer.