In 2018, Ninja became Twitch’s first mainstream star

See the original posting on The Verge

“More people watch gaming video content than HBO, Netflix, ESPN and Hulu combined,” data crunchers at Nielsen say. It feels like we get metrics like these every year, meant to prove just how big and influential platforms like Twitch are. Somehow, though, the cultural impact of live streaming hasn’t felt entirely real. (If it was, Nielsen wouldn’t have to say so.) Sure, tons of people might watch a man in a wig shoot people’s faces off for hours every day, but next to a pop culture giant like Kanye West, a successful Twitch streamer is a microcelebrity. Well, until this year.

2018 saw the rise of the world’s first game for the meme generation: Fortnite. And it exploded with the force of The Dress, multiplied by a thousand. The battle…

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