Top Fortnite streamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins is at the center of more drama. Last week he flipped out when Epic Games appeared to add another streamer as a Fortnite skin while ignoring him. His outburst made the rounds on social media, with many critics using it as an example of how self-important Twitch streamers can be. Now, he's back under the microscope after threatening to use his fame to get another player banned from Fortnite.
This past weekend, Ninja was having his usual Fortnite stream featuring fellow streamer DrLupo. Things got heated when a player named IcyFive eliminated both Ninja and DrLupo. After getting defeated, both streamers watched IcyFive using spectator mode, and DrLupo jokingly told Ninja and the viewers to "watch for the emote." When IcyFive did indeed emote to celebrate, Ninja reported him as a cheater.
"I'm going out of my way to make sure this guy is banned," Ninja says in a clip that made its way to the Fortnite subreddit. He then tells IcyFive to leave the game right away, threatening to "guarantee his ban" if he doesn't.
But why did IcyFive incur the wrath of Ninja? Stream sniping, allegedly. Stream sniping is certainly a problem on Twitch, the name for a cheap move where players will watch a stream and use the footage to track down and destroy the streamer in-game. It's the modern equivalent to spying on a friend during split-screen session of Halo or Goldeneye.
Ninja believed that, by emoting right after DrLupo suggested he would, IcyFive had to be sniping his stream. The Reddit community disagreed upon seeing the clip and IcyFive's arguments to the contrary.
@Ninja @DrLupo I will show you that I did not stream snipe. I don't wanna try and gain "clout" from this. But I will upload it if you really think I stream snipped. I emoted cause there were 6 people watching me and I lasered you. I didn't stream snipe you. pic.twitter.com/xPGDSpHpIJ— IcyFive/51L (@51LYouTube) November 11, 2018
IcyFive gained enough support that Ninja was forced to address the issue and offer an apology, albeit in a manner that seemed to imply he felt little remorse.
Talk about timing when he emot3d when Ben asked. Odds were in my favor but I guess I was wrong! Good thing epic just investigates when I question a player and not ban them immediately— Ninja (@Ninja) November 11, 2018
Despite Ninja's words to the contrary, may believe that he does have the status to get a player banned instantly. After all, he is the biggest name in Fortnite, it seems sensible that Epic would heed his words. IcyFives brought this concern to Ninja's attention, only to be told to "stop playing the victim."
Epic will never ban people for no reason even if I say anything.. you assuming they do is naive. Stop playing the victim, you aren't getting banned, I am sorry. Stop milking it.— Ninja (@Ninja) November 11, 2018
For his part, DrLupo was quick to say he believed IcyFives was innocent. He didn't just reply on Twitter, he also chimed in on the Reddit thread to field questions from the community. When asked why he didn't intervene during Ninja's fit, he explained he felt it was best to let his friend blow off steam and move on. "You just want me to do something that I have no responsibility in doing," he wrote. "It's not my job to police him."
So that's that, at least for now. IcyFives has not been banned as of this article's writing, and Ninja and DrLupo have stopped responding to threads on the matter. The Fortnite subreddit is back to posting memes, and the world turns. At least until the next drama.