Is Ninja’s dramatic ‘break from Twitch’ just a setup?

Twitch’s most-followed streamer ended his last show more dramatically than usual. While recuperating after a brief Fortnite skirmish in which Rick—of Rick and Morty fame—leapt out of a family saloon car and began firing indiscriminately, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins put his head in his hands, leaned back in his chair, and stared in silence for a while before declaring to his squadmate that he “can’t do it anymore, dude.” He said he needed to take a break from streaming and quit the game, and the stream, abruptly.

The streamer’s apparent burnout comes hot on the heels of Pokimane’s month-long break (opens in new tab) and subsequent pivot into non-gaming content. In a video posted after her time away, Pokimane explained that the pressure to produce content and capitalise on trends can get incredibly severe. Streamer burnout (opens in new tab), after all, is a real, common, and deeply unhealthy thing. But it doesn’t really seem like that’s what’s happening with Ninja. Before he stopped streaming, the star remarked pointedly, “I don’t know where I’m going to be live next”. If this isn’t a deliberate attempt to gin up publicity for an upcoming announcement, it’s uncannily similar to one.

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