Ninja has reportedly quit Fortnite following a stressful fight where he was eliminated by an alleged stream sniper.
Following the short fight, Ninja takes some time to vent to his stream over his frustration at the fact that he can’t seem to play the game without having to deal with stream snipers targeting him for his fame.
For someone like Ninja, who has turned streaming into a fully fledged career with an emphasis on production value, this inability to play and generate the content he wants is a major obstacle towards both enjoying the game and doing his job.
Fortnite streamers and stream snipers
Fortnite and the Fortnite streaming community have had a synergistic relationship. Fortnite gained a lot of early attention thanks to its adoption by many streamers who were able to showcase the game to a wide and diverse audience. At the same time, this audience helped many streamers get famous thanks to their skill and personality.
Ninja arguably owes a lot to Fortnite, as his current level of fame and access to opportunities outside the world of streaming have effectively stemmed from his success as a Fortnite streamer.
It’s a little difficult to be especially sympathetic to someone who’s biggest complaint at their job is that they are so successful at it that fan recognition can get in the way, But Ninja did raise a good point about stream sniping and the state of the game. Though it’s accurate to say that Ninja's rant had a more emotional flair to it, he said that stream snipers ultimately hurt the game because it makes streamers not want to play.
Obviously Ninja is oversimplifying the situation a bit, but he’s still right. For the Fortnite community, stream sniping makes Fortnite simply look unappealing to the massive audience that watches the game. If Fortnite ends up with a reputation for being unwelcoming, then it could drive away potential players.
Is Ninja really quitting Fortnite?
Another thing to consider is that retirement in Fortnite never seems to last forever. There have been plenty of high-profile players dramatically quitting the game due to some frustrating feature, only to have them return a few weeks later.
What is curious is that these kinds of sudden outbursts, retirements, and reentries into the game are much more common amongst esports players, compared to other competitive players. Perhaps the one on one relationship streaming offers, and the pressure to be “authentic” on stream mean that these emotional outbursts are more accepted among streamers.
Ninja is certainly not suffering from the decision, he’s famous enough that he could easily switch to any game he wants and get his audience to follow, or if needed, simply build a new one.
More likely, Ninja will simply return whenever he feels ready.