The highest paid professional gamer in the world, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins earns an estimated average salary between $7 and $10 million per year. At the peak of his gaming stardom, he was making over $10 million per month playing Fortnite. Let‘s break down exactly where Ninja‘s massive paychecks come from.
Ninja‘s Rise as Gaming‘s First Mainstream Celebrity
Ninja first made waves in esports competing professionally in Halo 3 tournaments. But he truly broke through after transitioning to full-time streaming. When Fortnite exploded in popularity in 2017-2018, Ninja opportunistically capitalized by showcasing elite-level gameplay.
His profile went stratospheric after streaming Fortnite sessions with big celebrities like Drake, Travis Scott and JuJu Smith-Schuster. At his peak, he had over 14 million Twitch followers, 250,000 paid subscribers, and over 600,000 peak concurrent viewers.
|Twitch||18 million||380 million|
|YouTube||24 million||2.4 billion|
Ninja became gaming‘s first mainstream celebrity, gracing magazine covers, TV commercials and New Year‘s Eve broadcasts.
Massive Income from Twitch Subscriptions
The bulk of Ninja‘s income comes from paid Twitch subscriptions. At his peak, he had over 22,000 paying subscribers giving him $110,000 per month at $5 per sub.
Total Twitch subscribers:
- 2018: 250,000 subs
- 2019: 160,000 subs
- 2022: 25,000 subs
Estimated monthly income from subs:
- 2018: $1.25 million
- 2019: $800,000
- 2022: $125,000
Even after the Fortnite craze slowed down, Ninja still earns a minimum of $1.5 million per year from Twitch subs.
Millions More from Donations, Bits and Ad Revenue
Along with subscriptions, Ninja earns big from viewer donations, Twitch Bits cheerering and advertisement revenue.
At his peak, he could easily make an additional $400,000 per month from these sources. Even at lower viewership in 2022, these revenue streams bring in over $100,000 monthly.
Mixer Deal Worth Between $20-30 Million
In 2019, Ninja left Twitch to stream exclusively on Microsoft‘s Mixer platform. Though exact terms weren‘t disclosed, industry experts estimate Ninja‘s multi-year Mixer deal was worth between $20-30 million total.
This upfront payment gave Microsoft a marquee name to help compete with Twitch. Unfortunately Mixer shut down in 2020, allowing Ninja to negotiate a new contract.
Huge YouTube Earnings from Massive Subscribers
In addition to Twitch, Ninja earns big through pre-recorded YouTube gameplay. With over 24 million YouTube subscribers, he can easily gross over $1 million annually in ad revenue alone.
Popular videos on his channel often exceed 5 million views each, generating significant income.
Lucrative Sponsorships and Brand Deals
Ninja‘s stardom allows him to land huge sponsorship and branding deals. Reported deals include:
- Samsung – $10 million
- Uber Eats – $5 million
- Adidas – $1 million
He also has deals with Red Bull, Electronic Arts, Google Fi and many more. These deals can provide millions per year in sponsor income.
Merch Sales, Mobile Games and More
Ninja earns added income from merchandise sales through designer collaborations. For example, his adidas brand deal saw a highly successful shoe and apparel collection.
He also earns income licensing his name and likeness to mobile games like Ninja‘s Creed. These complementary earnings sources further boost his net worth.
Ninja‘s Net Worth Versus Other Top Gamers
Ninja has built a net worth of over $40 million. Here‘s how he compares to other top-earning gamers and streamers:
- Ninja – $40 million
- Shroud – $16 million
- xQc – $8 million
- DrDisrespect – $10 million
- TimTheTatman – $6 million
- Summit1G – $6 million
Ninja is firmly in a league of his own as gaming‘s highest paid superstar. But other personalities also earn millions per year once they reach elite status.
Big Streamers Pay Significant Taxes
The downside of huge streaming income is taxes. As a self-employed entertainer, Ninja has stated he pays up to 50% of earnings to taxes. This is millions per year that could otherwise be invested or saved.
"There‘s a lot of money involved. But you have to realize I‘m basically giving away 50%, if not more, in taxes."
So while his gross income may be over $10 million some years, his net income is significantly less after taxes. Still, he has earned enough to set up his family for life financially.
The Bottom Line on Ninja‘s Income
Through skilled Fortnite gameplay, a magnetic personality and tireless work ethic, Ninja has achieved every gamer‘s dream. After breaking through with a record-setting streaming career, he now earns a massive salary between $7-10 million annually.
He did this by capitalizing on a booming game (Fortnite), translating popularity into platform deals and leveraging fame into lucrative sponsorships. While Ninja‘s level of success is unattainable for most, he demonstrates the incredible earning potential that gaming and streaming stardom provides.