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Ninja claims he’d “easily” be a top-50 Fortnite player if he tried

Ninja went on Bob Menery’s podcast and claimed that he could be a top-50 Fortnite player if he committed to it.

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Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins made a recent appearance on the ‘Zapped with Bob Menery’ podcast to discuss gaming, his career, and streaming. During the episode, Ninja made a claim about his possibilities in competitive Fortnite.

“Absolutely not,” Ninja replied when Menery asked him if he was the best Fortnite player in the world. “I think I could easily be (a) top-50 player if I’m playing, practicing, grinding in Creative.”

(Topic begins at 22:30 )

There isn’t likely a ton of overlap between hardcore Fortnite players and listeners of the ‘Zapped’ podcast, but those who caught this claim took issue with it.

For reference, FortniteTracker’s unofficial PC power rankings list Zayt at 56, MrSavage at 61, Clix at 64, and Tfue at 100. Reverse2k, who arguably carried Ninja during their competitive partnership, is listed at 345. Ninja currently sits at rank 1,475.

Ninja will likely never dedicate enough time to competitive Fortnite to ever reach his true potential. He’s too successful for that, so we’ll never know whether he’d actually hit that top-50 mark.

Via: Ninja Twitter

Many of the fans who responded to this statement were surprisingly civil – although they disagreed with the streamer. The most common reference was to Ninja’s age. He turns 29 in June, making over a decade older than World Cup winner Bugha at 17.

Fortnite is a young person’s game. Chances are, you won’t find anyone over 20 in the top-50 rankings. The scene is notoriously young, to the point where Nate Hill was the oldest player to qualify for the World Cup at 24.

Via: Epic Games

Ninja is, undoubtedly, an elite gamer. There was a point in time when he was a top-50 Fortnite player, but that time has passed. The scene appears to be far too young, these days.

There’s no question as to whether or not Ninja has the skills to be a professional gamer – he has a history of competing at the top level in multiple games. In a scene where 22-year-olds are called “washed,” however, it seems unlikely that someone as successful as Ninja would break the top fifty.

Crazier things have happened, though. We’d love to see him prove everyone wrong.

Esports

TSM gives ZexRow last chance following Ninja Battles outburst

Fortnite pro, ZexRow, receives a fine and a final warning from his organization, TSM.

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Ninja Battles Week 1 took place last Thursday, providing viewers with one of the better competitive Fortnite tournaments in recent memory – Flopper heal-offs aside. With Arena Trios now in the game, the Ninja Battles series looks to only get more competitive.

There were a couple of controversies that arose after the event – both of which were self-inflicted by the participants. The more glaring of the two involved TSM pro, Anthony ‘ZexRow’ Colandro, who embarked on a cuss-filled rant following his team’s win.

ZexRow issued an official apology for the outburst, but not before he was banned from the tournament by Ninja, himself. As the days went on, it became clear that some fans were calling for his organization, TSM, to drop him. ZexRow even tweeted that he’d ask about leaving TSM over his statements.

On May 29, TSM’s CEO, Andy Dinh, released a blog post that addressed the ZexRow situation. “We are extremely disappointed in the comments made by Anthony ‘ZexRow’ Colandro and take this matter very seriously,” Dinh wrote.

“Effective immediately, he has been fined one month’s salary. His behavior was absolutely inappropriate, and does not represent the values of TSM or our brand partners.”

The statement went on to say that TSM was providing ZexRow with professional counseling and training, “helping him to work on how he conducts himself – both publicly and privately.”

Dinh’s post concluded by saying that TSM has a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior and that the organization will “be forced to part ways if something like this should occur again in the future. We believe in Zex, and have faith that with serious personal reflection and focus, he can move forward from this.”

TSM-Fortnite-teamsolomid-team-solo-mid-cowboy-dropped-released-professional-pro-player-allegations-accused-messages

This was, clearly, a learning experience for a young pro gamer. What he said may not have been the worst thing a gamer has said, but it showed a complete lack of professionalism and appreciation for the moment. Hopefully, he will take this opportunity to grow both professionally and personally.

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Editorial

Opinion: Ninja Battles is what we thought professional Fortnite would be

Ninja Battles has shown us that there’s a massive opportunity in invitational Fortnite tournaments.

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When competitive Fortnite was first announced, fans imagined Team Liquid going up against TSM and FaZe. Tfue and Cloakzy were battling Chap and 72hrs for the win. TSM boasted Myth, Daequan, and Hamlinz – three of the best players in the world at the time.

Those were the old days of competitive Fortnite, and they are way behind us. There’s been a massive changing of the guard, partially due to the open qualifiers for major tournaments.

These qualifiers were fantastic for unknown Fortnite players who have since grown their brand. Would people like UnknownxArmy or even Bugha have been invited to the World Cup if it was an invitational? We’re not sure.

IMG: Fortnite Twitter

From a viewership perspective, however, it can be difficult to keep track of the constant turnover in the competitive scene. The leaderboard might be filled with names you’ve never heard of in any given tournament. It’s a double-edged sword that leaves some longtime Fortnite viewers behind.

Now, we have Ninja Battles: an invitation-only tournament that also features some of the biggest names in the competitive scene. Sure, there were a few content creators thrown into the mix, but winning the tournament was no small feat. Many of the household names in competitive Fortnite took part in the event, and the prize pool was a large one for an online tournament.

Ninja Battles Week 1 was an unquestioned success. The best news coming out of the event is that we have five more weeks of competition. After one week, it’s already shown us the version of competitive Fortnite we expected to see, all along.

Of course, there was some controversy during the tournament. ZaxRow has been banned after his cuss-filled post-game interview, and Clix issued an apology after leaving early. On top of that, the lack of Arena Mode caused each game to end in a heal-off.

These pros have seen the error of their ways, however, and Ninja Battles will take place in Arena Mode going forward. Ninja stated that the tournament gave him “old competitive Fornite” vibes, and he was dead-on. This was what many of us wanted competitive Fortnite to be.

The participants, largely, loved their experience as well. Nearly every competitor praised the tournament on Twitter. There were no complaints, no in-game controversies, no accusations of teaming – nothing that’s been plaguing the mainstream competitive scene for over a year.

We have several more weeks of Ninja Battles to look forward to, but hopefully, it doesn’t end there. Ninja Battles has shown us that invitational tournaments might be the best format for Fortnite – at least from a viewership perspective.

The FNCS and all other Fortnite tournaments will have their place, but the true ceiling of competitive success may lie in private, invitational tournaments.

Let’s hope that organizers, teams, and companies take note of this success and support this version of the competitive scene going forward. If we get more of what we had last night, then competitive Fortnite has some massive potential.

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Esports

Clix apologizes for leaving Ninja Battles for a Fortnite Cash Cup

Clix apologizes for choosing the Fortnite Cash Cup over the in-progress Ninja Battles tournament.

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Ninja Battles showed us that invitational Fortnite tournaments might be more entertaining to watch than those with open qualifiers. It also proved that they can be just as toxic.

The professional Fortnite community is notoriously young, with the densest number of competitors in their teens. After Ninja Battles Week 1, we saw two high-profile pros issue apologies for their actions during the tournament.

The first to apologize was ZexRow, who has since been banned from future events due to his cuss-filled rant on Ninja’s stream. You can read more about that situation in our full article here.

Clix followed with an apology of his own. Was it for calling Ninja – the tournament organizer who put up his own money to host an event – “literally f**king dogs**t”? Not exactly.

Clix issued an apology for leaving the event early and leaving his teammates, BrookeAB and Furious, high and dry. He stated that he talked to the duo before the tournament and warned them that he’d be leaving. In his apology, Clix admitted that he “could’ve handled things better.”

Clix, whose team finished in 17th place, left before his final match to play the Duo Cash Cup with FaZe Sway. The pro made it seem like a no-brainer as to why he was leaving.

Clix released this apology a few hours after the event concluded, but it remains to be seen if he’ll receive an invite in the future. BrookeAB was the one who was invited from the squad, so Ninja could very well tell her not to invite him again.

There’s a lot of drama in the competitive Fortnite scene, even in a wholesome event like Ninja Battles. One thing’s for sure: this was one of the most entertaining Fortnite tournaments in recent memory.

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