Ninja allegedly received $1 million to promote the launch of Apex Legends

Ninja allegedly received $1 million to promote the launch of Apex Legends

Twitch streamer Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins was reportedly paid a cool $1m to promote the launch of Apex Legends via his social channels. 

Blevins quickly became the biggest streamer in the world after taking to Fortnite. When Apex Legends dropped last month, the streamer switched his focus to the Respawn Entertainmen'ts new battle royale.

According to a report from Reuters, a source close to Blevins confirmed that he was paid around $1m to push the game on his Twitter and play it in front of his audience of over 13 million Twitch followers.

Apex Legends saw over 10 million signups in just three days. To date, the game has been played by over 50m people.

Money for nothing

The money didn't go to waste, as Blevins' focus on the title saw it overtake both Fortnite and League of Legends as the most-watched game on Twitch. 

And with Blevins' focus being primarily on the battle royale genre, his switch from Fortnite to Apex Legends didn't feel all that unusual.

Neither Blevins nor EA have commented on the allegations. The report also states that fellow battle royale streamer Shroud was paid to promote the launch of Apex Legends, but the amount he made was not disclosed. 

VP of esports company ReKTGlobal commented on the speculation, calling it a "really well-coordinated poaching of the top influencers". Securing Twitch's top streamers with a hefty cash injection meant Apex Legends was destined to succeed there.

Respawn's lead producer Drew McCoy also spoke about securing influencers in a recent interview. 

“We really wanted to create a day where you couldn’t escape Apex if you cared about games and we wanted it to feel like an event was happening everywhere around the globe on that day,” McCoy said.

“We had streamers from all over Europe, LatAm, North America, Korea, Japan so that we could get our message out there and people would see the game."

While Apex Legends might have still seen success just by being a good game, reeling in Twitch's top talent ensured that it got a good launch at the very least. However, just one month after release, the title has already fallen back below Fornite as streamers pocket their earnings and return to the games they love most.


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.