Ninja is returning to streaming, ending an eight-day social media hiatus that left many fans concerned. Alongside the announcement, Ninja reveals that he'll be streaming everywhere, ending his Twitch exclusivity.
However, while many fans are pleased and look forward to his return, some industry peers are criticizing him for his conduct leading up to the announcement. Some feel that Ninja's vague messaging and concerning send-off on his last Twitch stream was done to intentionally worry his fans, and even falsely portray a mental health crisis. They feel that Ninja therefore used mental health concerns as a "marketing strategy" for his new deal.
Esports reporter Jacob Wolf was among the first to make this allegation, writing a blog post on the matter. He referred to Ninja's one-week break as an "obvious and disgusting use of mental health and burnout signs as a marketing ploy," citing his final stream. When he signed off, Ninja appeared to rage quit from a Fortnite game, telling his fans, "I don’t know when I’m going to be live and I don’t know where I’m going to be live. But I gotta get off, man."
Following this, Ninja changed his Twitter profile picture to an image reading “Time/Out”, the same name as his mental health initiative. This chain of events led many to believe that Ninja was taking a break for his own mental well-being, as other streamers have recently.
Now, having returned just eight days later and with a huge update for his brand, some believe that there was no cause for concern. It's worth noting that Ninja himself hasn't indicated that his rage quitting wasn't genuine, and at this point, the idea that it isn't is purely speculation.
However, Wolf is far from the only one criticizing Ninja. While covering his return, streamer reporter Zach Bussey also wrote: "Ninja approached this terribly." He continues his criticism: "The poorly acted mental health crisis thing was stupid and unnecessary. There are big issues with mental health in the streaming community and using it as marketing (poor marketing mind you) is a stain on an otherwise intriguing plan."
It remains to be seen if Ninja responds to these allegations. In the meantime, his return to streaming is set for today at 12pm CST.
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