“Ninja” Becomes First Gamer to Appear on ESPN Magazine Cover

This is Niche Culture. In this column, we regularly cover anime, geek culture, and things related to video games. Please leave feedback and let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

American Twitch Streamer Tyler Blevins a.k.a. “Ninja” will be appearing on the cover of the October 1st edition of ESPN the Magazine.

Blevins rose to online fame through playing Fortnite, being the first Twitch streamer to rack up over 10 million followers. This leap was partly sparked when he played with rapper Drake, gaining 630,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch – breaking the previous record of 388,000. He also frequents several tournaments and competitive events for the game.

The cover of ESPN the Magazine is typically reserved for sportsmen and women. While ESPN had agreed to cover eSports more and had signed licensing deals with EA, Blizzard and Disney – the debate as to whether eSports are a real sport is still being hotly debated.

Forbes predicts eSports could rack up as much as $900 billion in 2018, while DOTA 2’s The International 2018 tournament had nearly 15 million viewers globally for the final.

You can read ESPN’s article on Ninja here, and see the cover here.

What do you all think? Are e-sports in the same category as football or soccer? Should e-sports reach the giddying heights of professional sports? Sound off in the comments below!

Ryan Pearson

About

Taking his first steps onto Route 1 and never stopping, Ryan has had a love of RPGs since a young age. Now he's learning to appreciate a wider pallet of genres and challenges.