Fortnite star Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, pictured, has defended not streaming video game play with women, saying it was to guard against marriage-wrecking rumours.
Blevins took to Twitter to address a furore that erupted online after his reasoning for not streaming live play with women was shared at gaming website Polygon.
“While I understand some people have implied my views mean I have something against playing with women, I want to make clear the issue I’m addressing is online harassment, and my attempt to minimise it from my own life,” Blevins said in a message at his verified @ninja Twitter account with more than three million followers.
“It is something that affects all streamers, especially ones that make their relationships public.” Critics accused the US gamer of reinforcing a gender stereotype that the world of gaming and eSports is for men.
“I really like Ninja, but this feels like a cop out,” a fan tweeted. “You are free to do what you want, but understand you are encouraging a system that already heavily excludes women.” Blevins has millions of subscribers to his channels on YouTube and Twitch, reportedly earning more than $500 000 (about R7 million) monthly, thanks to his fans.
Fortnite is a global sensation, with entertaining play and commentary a hit with online viewers. Fortnite became an eSports phenomena after the release late last year.
Hip-hop superstar Drake set a streaming record on Twitch in March, drawing 628 000 viewers for a live stream of him battling for survival in the shoot-em-up adventure with players including Blevins.