Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a man on top of the world as perhaps the biggest Twitch streamer out there, says there’s a reason you don’t see him streaming Fortnite with women.
Speaking with Polygon, Blevins revealed the reason he doesn’t stream himself playing Fortnite with female streamers is because it invites far too much gossip and “clickbait” articles. “If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another,” Blevins told Polygon, “that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever.”
Twitch viewership can be slightly more intimate affair for the people who do it, at least compared to many of the people who cover games in various other ways. There’s a feeling that you’re slowly familiarizing yourself with the person you’re watching, and many streamers give off a welcoming attitude that gives viewers an itch to get to know them and ask questions about their personal lives. So when big-time streamers show themselves playing with each other viewers begin to ask: what is their relationship? And when it comes to men and women streaming together, the question becomes: Are they dating?
Blevins has decided to sidestep this issue by never streaming with women and part of the reason for this is his wife. Blevins is married to fellow streamer Jessica “Jghosty” Blevins, and two often appear on stream together. So in order to avoid rumors that he might be dating someone else, he won’t stream with another woman. “That was me being, ‘I love our relationship,’ and, ‘No — I’m not even gonna put you through that,'” Blevins told Polygon.
Speaking on whether this decision has caused any blowback from female streamers who could benefit from being from being on his streams (the way many of the men he streams with get followers and views just by being in his orbit), Blevins is quick to say he hasn’t seen any of it himself. “There hasn’t been a single female gamer or streamer on Twitch or anything like that who’s been upset about that,” he told Polygon. “I honestly think that… it’s just kinda like a respect thing.”
On one side, if Ninja wants to avoid the rumor mill entirely and not cause him or his wife any grief that might come with gossip videos and such, so be it. But it does reinforce the idea that men and women can’t be friends with each other without there being some sort of romantic undertone between them, which is an unfortunate side effect of his choice.