Tyler "Ninja" Blevins drew a lot of eyeballs and attention earlier this year when he spent some time streaming Fortnite with Drake. But now he's really gone mainstream—today, he played his signature game with Ellen.
It's not technically streaming, but rather a guest appearance on Ellen's show. The actual gameplay segment is brief, and they play the game on PlayStation 4, but the overall bit is cute, and more importantly it reflects the continued mainstreaming of Fortnite and of Ninja's household appeal. Ellen makes a show of not knowing anything about Fortnite (at least partly for comedic effect, I'm sure) but the audience is clearly familiar with her guest.
Despite his tutelage and on-stage enthusiasm for her performance, their team-up is not a successful effort: When Ninja started shooting at other players, Ellen convinced him to try talking it out instead. He was quickly killed, and she followed soon after. They finished in 21st place.
"You flew in to play Fortnite with me, and I've learned nothing," Ellen admitted when it was all over. Hey, at least she did better than Adam Driver. (And was funnier, too.)
This appearance doesn't exactly represent a change in Ninja's attitude about streaming with women, but it's encouraging nevertheless to see Twitch's most-followed person on screen with a beloved female celebrity. Earlier this year, Ninja talked about his decision to completely avoid streaming with women. "If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another, and even if there’s a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever," Blevins told Polygon in August. "The only way to avoid that [gossip] is to not play with them at all ... While I understand some people have implied my views mean I have something against playing with women, I want to make clear the issue I'm addressing is online harassment, and my attempt to minimize it from our life."