Ninja may be one of the biggest names in eSports. Especially if you are a fan of Fortnite and let’s be honest, who isn’t? However, reputation means very little in eSports and in what is considered a bit of an upset Ninja has failed to qualify for the Fortnite world cup.
Before we go on, let’s talk about the scale of this in terms of an upset. Imagine if we are talking about soccer (or football if you prefer) Imagine if Brazil failed to qualify for a World Cup! Imagine a world cup tournament without the yellow-shirted Samba boys, that is the level of impact we are talking about here.
Who is Ninja?
Just in case you stumbled across this article and thought we were talking about an actual ninja, sorry to disappoint you. Although if you watch some of his videos you’d have to admit he has the reactions of one!
Ninja is the online name of Richard Tyler Blevins. He is widely regarded as one of the world’s best Fortnite players. He is also widely followed on social media. His Twitch stream boasts some 14 million views, the highest on the platform and he regularly exceeds an average of 40k viewers per week. He is as close to a celebrity eSports player as it gets.
The Fortnite world cup
What is the competition? It is as prestigious as the name might suggest. There is a huge prize pool on offer for the competition, exceeding $30 million. It is the biggest prize in eSports history by some way and further evidence of the growth of the industry. The run-up to the major tournament has seen weekly million dollar prizes dolled out and now that phase has concluded, theoretically, we have the best 100 solo and 50 best fortnight duos on the planet, only Ninja isn’t among them.
How badly did the Ninja tank?
Ninja knew that he had failed to make the solo event and so had a lot riding on the coop contest. Him and his partner, Malachi “Reverse2k” Greine, got off to a terrible start after four games they had only recorded 15 points. They finished on 64 showing their class but they still failed to qualify by 25 points.
What does it mean?
From Ninja’s point of view, he probably loses a lot of prestige. Thanks to his personality and his reputation I’m sure it won’t have much of an impact. The guy has a high net-worth and although the prize money for the event was stunning he doesn’t need it, he makes plenty through advertising and sponsorship, plus there are a wealth of other prizes available as he excels in other shooters such as Call of Duty as well.
As for the contest itself. In some ways, it is a real shame. It is obviously making waves due to the sheer enormity of the prize pool. It is trying to position itself as the worlds most important eSport event and to lose somebody with the stature of Ninja is a bit of a blow. As we alluded to before it is a bit like Brazil missing out on the world cup! However, the earth will continue to move around the sun and to spin the cliché the show must go on.
Classy in defeat
Ninja did not wallow following the blow and wasn’t exactly equivocal in his response. He simply said “64 points w/ ma boy @Reverse2k_ we Didn’t qualify but if you guys saw our start… LOL 15 points 4 games in and then we turned it up. I will be at the World cup in NYC no matter what though! And thank you @FortniteGame for the opportunity.
It’s nice to see him take the defeat in such a dignified manner but then anyone who followers him won’t be surprised by his cool attitude.