You guys know Ninja, right? That guy that has several lines of products and merch, his own skin in Fortnite, an ESPN magazine cover, and a few bajillion followers across a couple of platforms? That Ninja? Surely you may have heard of him.
Well, little known fact here, but once upon a time Ninja was making a name for himself by playing video games professionally, which required him to take them seriously. And, for those keeping score at home, taking games seriously and wanting to win at them is actually not against the law.
Our pal Jake Lucky snagged this clip of Ninja yesterday, in which he is apparently responding to a kid on his team who was chirping prior to the recording about Ninja’s play style. Ninja began firing back, and the rest of the clip is self-explanatory.
This is your classic “start it, but can’t finish it” situation. The kid immediately starts backpedaling about his age, Ninja’s fame and money, and plenty of other shit that has nothing to do with the game (shocker, I know). Ninja is kind enough to clarify that, even if this moment were happening a decade ago when he wasn’t famous, that his teammate would still be absolute garbage, and that Ninja would still point it out.
Surely there’s going to be more than a few Twitter eggs and probably a couple of bloggers who are ITCHING to get some sensitive ass takes off on this, saying that he shouldn’t react this way while playing games and needs to be a role model… But what they don’t understand is, this is him being a role model.
Around 1:10 Ninja asks “do you care about anything?”, and this is a completely valid question. I’m a firm believer that the way you do anything is the way you do everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, a streamer, a doctor, or a line cook at a restaurant. Being committed to improving on a daily basis is essential to your own growth, and Ninja’s commitment to gaming is part of what got him where he is today.
‘Toxic Ninja’ isn’t actually toxic, he’s keeping it real and teaching a lesson. I appreciate this type of authenticity especially when most people in his space try being overly neutral and sponsor-friendly for the cameras. If this is what ‘toxicity’ looks like, then maybe some of your favorite streamers aren’t being ‘toxic’ enough.