When Tyler Blevins, who is better known in the video gaming world as Ninja, posted a cryptic tweet on Wednesday that seemed to hint at some sort of announcement, his ardent fans thought he might reveal the kind of big-dollar contract one would expect from baseball or basketball stars.
Instead, Mr. Blevins, who was left without an online home when the streaming platform Mixer announced in June that it would shut down, played video games live on YouTube and promised fans that more streams were coming “sooner rather than later.”
That Mr. Blevins could generate a flurry of speculation with one tweet speaks to the influence of one of the world’s most famous online personalities and to the increasing popularity of high-profile gamers. Mr. Blevins has said in interviews he would like to be as well known as the basketball star LeBron James.
On Wednesday, the 10th anniversary of the day Mr. James decided to sign with the Miami Heat, Mr. Blevins did the first livestream on his own YouTube channel. He appeared with electric blue hair alongside friends and played the popular game Fortnite. At its peak, more than 160,000 people tuned into Mr. Blevins’s 97-minute stream.
Fans and gaming news sites were initially quick to declare that Mr. Blevins had permanently landed on YouTube, but many pumped the brakes when Source…