The Problem with Stream Sniping and Ninja

If you are familiar with Fortnite, you are more than likely familiar with Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. Tyler has solidified himself as an exceptionally unique content creator, who capitalized on his popularity and gaming skills to elevate online streaming to new, previously unthought of platforms.

Recently there has been a significant amount of drama surrounding the famed Twitch Streamer, surrounding incidents of ‘Stream Sniping.’ Every youtube video seems to have the tagline and every twitter post is an outcry at Ninja’s behavior towards it.

For those of us not too informed about the logistics of Stream Sniping, it is when another player attempts to specifically get into a Streamer’s game, usually while they are streaming, and then using their stream to ascertain their location and usually eliminate the player.

Usually in games you or I play, this type of behavior only happened back when we were playing Halo: Combat Evolved split screen, and our younger sibling would glance at our screen to cheat, figure out where we were and simultaneously get a free kill.

Yes, we call this cheating and cheating in competitive games is a no-no.

Nowadays these stream snipers are more focused are receiving the acknowledgment and inserting themselves into Ninja’s broadcast, which steadily averages between 40,000 – 60,000 viewers a day.

During one of Ninja’s ‘After Dark’ streams (where he typically drinks and condones more mature language), a player IcyFive eliminated Ninja, putting a pre-mature ending to his gameplay with esteemed fellow streamers DrLupo, TimTheTatMan and BasicallyIDoWrk—Ninja’s reaction caused a bit of a stir among his subscribers.

While everyone seems to be a bit focused on Ninja allegedly ‘throwing around his authority’ and accusing him of having a tantrum, the evidence still continues to stack in his favor. The player IcyFive later denied having stream sniped Ninja, despite having proof that he has attempted to get into Ninja’s games before, and seemed to play on the role of sympathy instead of evidence to deny his claim.

While there are many things to consider, the first and foremost should be centered around Ninja’s actual job: streaming video games.

His income relies on providing quality, entertaining content that promotes more subscribers and fans—to date, he has done a fantastic job. The problem becomes when some of his less-than-stellar fans of his success decide they want to either sabotage his gameplay, or get some recognition for having their name pop up as the one who eliminated the famous Ninja.

While Ninja has taken precautions to prevent this, sometimes adding a delay or hiding his screen so those in his game cannot see where he drops; the problem remains.

It would be the equivalent of a clerk worker like you or me, that has one of their friends come in at the middle of their shift and disrupt the line just for the sake of all the attention being on them, instead of you and while you are just trying to get through the job, they insist—demand, that it be about them and not everyone else in line.

It should never be considered entertaining or amusing to invade someone’s game when their content is based around entertainment, not repetitively dying to people who adamantly pursue them with no intentions of even winning the game itself.

In recent months, we’ve seen several people attempting to invade the games of streamers, and later accuse them of being wrongfully hunted down. In one of these cases, a viewer that claimed Ninja resulted in their account being banned, was actually shown to have been gloating about “ruining his career” with friends—something that was exposed, and the faker quickly discredited.

While some streamers embrace the inevitability of stream sniping, others like Ninja feel as though it ruins their content, the gameplay and ultimately spoils the entire experience for the audience and honestly… can we blame them for thinking it?

After spending a few hours watching streamers, it can easily be noted that high skill players are everywhere—but ones that seem to know where you are, what you have, when you are reloading or healing, they come off a tad bit suspicious; and with the new streamer mode that hides gamertags, it begs the question of why bother anymore? You don’t receive the glory, your name isn’t broadcast anymore and is usually looked over as Recruit[205] or so.

It seems the only recognition these players receive is when Ninja reports them and their gamertag is shown, allowing them to splash around in the pity pool, claiming a celebrity abused them.

It is unfortunate that we no longer have respect for all professions, and instead want everything to be about us.

While arguments can be made for both sides, it is clear that the intent is disrupt someone’s career and give them ‘bad publicity’, and usually backfires when all evidence you have is proven false and fabricated.