Professional gamer Ninja is returning to Twitch after a year away from the top streaming platform.
Why It’s Important: Ninja left last year to join Mixer, the streaming platform from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Mixer shut down and Ninja became a free agent instead of moving over to the gaming service of rival Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB).
Ninja is the most recognizable figure in streaming and has branched into the mainstream with large licensing deals.
Twitch gives Ninja access to a large number of fans. Ninja already has 15.1 million followers on Twitch, the highest of any streamer on the platform. His 483 million total views rank fifth in Twitch history.
The exclusive deal with Twitch is a blow to Alphabet Inc.'s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube, where Ninja has 24.1 million subscribers. A video showing off the Fortnite Ninja skin had 13.9 million views.
Ninja had been airing videos on YouTube since Mixer ended.
What’s Next: Ninja’s first stream under the new deal started at 3 p.m. ET Thursday. Over 115,000 people were already tuned in — an hour into the stream, where Ninja was playing “Fall Guys.”