Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, Twitch streamer and Fortnite player, landed in hot water with his fans and launched a shady gaming technique into the spotlight: stream sniping.
Earlier this month, Ninja was streaming Fortnite and was killed by a player, ‘IcyFive,’ whose character emoted after the kill. Ninja reported the player for stream sniping, which is the practice of watching a player’s live stream of a game to figure out where they are within the arena, confront them, and kill them in-game. To Ninja, the emote after his kill was clear proof that IcyFive had stream-sniped in.
Since then, debate has sprung up about every facet of the incident. Some worried that Ninja’s power within the Fortnite community could lead to his indiscriminate banning of players after future losses, an issue that already affects online multiplayers. IcyFive himself called Ninja “the face of Fortnite.”
I don't understand why you raged, called me an idiot and said you were going to try and get me banned. I know that you can get me banned cause of how much power you have within epic. You are the face of fortnite.
— IcyFive (@IcyFiveYT) November 11, 2018
Others, though, took Epic Games, Fortnite’s developer, to task, proving how difficult it is to get a stream sniper banned. ShotGunPlays on YouTube posted a video where he tests the reporting policy. First he illustrates the difficulty of getting into the same game as a streamer, carefully timing his queue against the stream’s delay. He reveals in the video that he has gotten reported and banned before, but never for stream sniping.
Another player, Cheraxo, accused Ninja of reporting him for having a higher 'ping' on Reddit, and slammed Epic Games for a lack of transparency when discussing their banning criteria. It has since come to light that Cheraxo likely only wanted to stir up trouble to attract attention to his videos, but Epic remains under fire.
This is not clickbait. Ninja got a player banned for having higher ping. Epic just banned the player only cause Ninja reported him. This is proof that Epic BANS anyone who Ninja reports and does not review the player. This is so fucking stupid. Epic Games is extremely careless. from r/FortNiteBR
This controversy remains a hot topic within the Fortnite community to this day. Ninja was interviewed by the YouTube channel DramaAlert, in which he says that he continues to get online hate over his behavior.