Welcome to The Daily Show. Thank you.
Thank you for having me. This is so exciting,
having you on, because you are truly
the pioneer of “elite sports gaming,” in terms of being a person
who, like– -You’ve brought it into
the mainstream, you know? -Yeah. Like, back in the day, gamers,
like, the idea was like– people would always be like,
“Oh, gamers. -“You’re in your basement
of your mom’s house. -Yeah. And you’re-you’re this
and you’re–” And I was always offended,
’cause I’m a gamer, and I’d be like, “No, we play
the games.” And I was like… -I was in my mom’s basement
playing. -Oh, you were? Okay. But, I mean, th-this has–
this has been a riot for you. -Yeah. -I mean, yeah, going
from your mom’s basement playing games to now being one
of the highest paid athletes -in the world, period,
-Yeah. (exhales) -in the world, that is–
that is pretty wild. -Yes. It’s pretty crazy.
Uh, I definitely didn’t, uh, you know, see this coming,
really. Just loved playing video games
and loved streaming, so… What did you do the first time
someone paid you for a video– -Did you think it was,
like, a trap? -My mom– My– Fun fact, uh, my mom actually
made my dad come with me to my first tournament in,
like– I think it was in Columbus,
Ohio, because he– she thought– it was
Major League Gaming, MLG– she thought that it was
a fake company of old people -who lured kids to, like,
molest them. -I– Yeah. Yeah. I would–
I would think the same thing. -Oh, yeah. -If-if my kid said,
“I’m gonna get money -to play video games,”
I’d be like, -Yeah. -“Who’s giving you this money?”
-Yeah. “Who’s giving you– -“Is there a van involved?
-Yeah. -Is there can…”
-“Who’s giving you this money?” But-but it really has blown up. And what-what I found
interesting is how, initially,
there was a lot of resistance. People were like,
“Why are you getting money -for playing a video game?”
-Yeah. But people don’t understand. You’re not just playing
a video game. You put hours in as an athlete. How many hours
do you play a day? Minimum, like, eight hours.
Minimum. -WOMAN: Wow.
-Yeah. -Yeah. And-and not just eight hours. But it’s, like, eight hours
of-of, like, -grinding and practicing
what you do. -Yeah. It’s a lot of mental strain.
I mean, imagine someone– you know,
imagine, like, playing a-a really,
really stressful mind, you know, challenging game
like chess -for just eight hours straight
at-at a high level. -Right. It’s difficult. It’s
really exhausting, in a way. Uh, but, yeah, I mean,
every day, I did it for, like, honestly, eight years
straight with minimal breaks. I would say, maximum– Actually took– The longest
break was, like, one week. -For eight years. -Yeah,
you say chess, but, I mean, it’s-it’s like chess if
your opponent was also swearing -at you in the middle
of the game. -Oh, yeah. It’s, like, yeah. It’s… No, because, like, I-I played.
I was, like… You know, I played with Ninja
today, like, for the fir… -I played Fortnite
for the first time ever. -Yeah. -And-and you played… Yeah.
-(cheering) And you played on a console
for the first time ever. -And we won our first match
together. -Fortnite. Yeah, yeah. -Yup.
-Which was pretty amazing. -It was awesome.
-Yeah, there’s like… There’s-there’s a little clip
of us. It was pretty dope.
I’ll show you. We got a clip, -don’t we?
-Boom. Oh, shit.
I shot someone’s head. (laughs)
That was nice. Oh, you got…
You killed someone? I think so. I mean, I shot them,
and then, they stopped living, so I think
that’s what happened. -Yeah, that was,
uh, pretty dope. -Yeah. -That was amazing.
-One for one. 100% win ratio. That was, uh… -Yeah, we won. -You should have
stopped there, man. -And then you told me to quit…
-Yup. because I had
a perfect win ratio. -I had 100% win rate.
-Think about that story. -And then I came back and got
beaten every single time. -Yup. What was… what was fascinating
to me was this. We were playing, and, like, our
accounts weren’t, like, locked, -so people just joined in.
-Yeah. And at some point, we had, like, -hundreds of kids online.
-Yeah. Like, all different ages.
Like, some-some, like, 19-year-olds, others, like, ten. And they were just like,
“Ninja! Ninja!” They’re all just dancing
in the lobby. -It was hilarious. -Yeah,
and then they were, like… It felt like
they were chasing us. -Like, you owed children money
or something. -Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just, like, screaming. Like, does that ever, like,
seem normal to you is that you’ve become
a bona fide celebrity -to many in the world…
-Yeah. …and some people
don’t know you -when you walk down the street?
-Dude, it’s-it’s crazy. I don’t really… I just…
You know, I’m just a gamer, man. That’s how I look at it,
so I don’t… I mean, I love it.
I-I think that, you know, when kids screaming
my name, “Ninja, I love you!” -Right. -I mean,
I love it, man. It’s a… Do you think it changed
when you played against Drake? Oh, dude, that…
I mean, that made… That took me,
and, in my opinion, like, gaming, like, main…
Like, that blew up. Like, that was one
of the first times I feel like that-that gaming and streaming
really hit, like, almost every single
news outlet. Yeah, because that was huge.
They were like, -“Ninja is going to play
against Drake.” -Yeah. And I was like, “I’m sorry.
The what’s gonna happen to who?” -Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah. -(laughter) Dude, I woke… I woke up after,
so, like, it was, like, a last-minute thing.
It was 7:00 at night. And I was… I don’t even think
I was streaming. I wasn’t even streaming.
I was done. I think I finished,
like, a 12-hour stream. I woke up at, like, 6:00,
and I got off at 6:00. And then I got a text
from Drake at, like, 6:30. He’s like, “Hey, man,
I’m on this game.” I was like, “Ooh,
this is happening.” Ran downstairs, started
the stream right back up, and then, you know, we streamed
for, like, three hours. And then I was freaking out. I passed out right away
after it, and woke up to, like,
just insane new… Like, my Twitter time line
was mad… Yeah. It changed…
it changed everything. And I think, like,
we started to see that in-in the rise of Ninja. You know, you’ve become
bigger than just gaming. -It’s become an idea,
it’s become a brand. -Yeah. You know, you work with Adidas. You know, you-you have
Mixer that you stream your… Like, you broke the record
for the most subscribers -on a streaming service, like,
in a week. -Yeah. Yup. -(whoops) -And now…
now you’ve got this book. -And this is interesting.
-(applause) -Thank you guys. Yeah. No, this is interesting. (applause and cheering) This is interesting, because… because, like, when they were,
like, “Ninja’s got a book,” -I was like, “A book
about what?” -Yeah. -(laughter) I was like, “It’s gaming.
What do you have a book about? -Like, the buttons? What is…
what is…?” -Yeah. -It’s…
-But… but I’m… Yeah, but I’m not even serious.
Like, I’m not even joking. I-I read the book,
and as a gamer, but just as, like, as someone
who’s interested in what you do. -I found it fascinating
how you break it down. -Yeah. -Like, this is, like,
the business of gaming, -Mm-hmm. and it’s the business
of the sport. Like, this is a manual
which technically doesn’t exist. -Right.
-Is that why you wrote it? I really wanted
to just give back. I mean, I’ve been streaming,
like I said, for a long time, and every day
I get asked questions, you know? “Tyler, Ninja,
what settings do use?” “What’s the best keyboard?”
“What’s the best headset?” “How do I get better?”
“How do I get more viewers?” And it’s, like, you know,
I was just tired of answering the questions,
so I wrote a book. -Right.
-(laughter) Let me… let me ask you this,
let me ask you this, ’cause this is something
that I found really… really beautiful was,
like, in the book you talk about the myths
in and around gaming. You’re like, people are like,
“Gaming makes the kids violent,” “Gaming makes the kids want
to shoot people,” but this is something
I honestly found when I was playing with you,
and I love that you write about it in the book as well,
is, like, the community -that gaming provides people,
-Oh, yeah. and the fun that
you actually can have. Because, like, a lot of these
kids, when they were speaking, my favorite was, was a kid from
somewhere in the United Kingdom, somewhere–
sounded Scottish or whatever. -Yeah, sounded Scottish.
-But he was like, (Scottish accent):
“Ninja? Is that you, Ninja? “‘Cause I saw you…
I think he can hear us, “but he can’t s…
He’s not speaking. Ninja,
I love you so much, Ninja.” But-but there really is,
like, a, like, a… like, and you said,
the kids were dancing with their little avatars,
there’s, like, a fun -that is associated…
-Yeah, it’s a community, man. Right. Why do you think
that community is so tight, and why do you think
that group is growing -at the rate that it is?
-‘Cause people just love playing video games together. It’s a great way to connect,
man, and you can do it from the inside of your home.
It’s awesome. I mean, and honestly,
it’s just so fun. So fun. It’s so fun
to-to play with someone and-and form a relationship with someone you’ve
never even met before, right? Another, you know, if you’re
a ten-year-old, 12-year-old, you’re playing
with another ten-year-old -in frickin’, you know,
in Scotland, right, -Yeah, yeah. and you’re in America,
and you can form a rela… like that, literally,
that wasn’t possible. You couldn’t do it, you
couldn’t have that friendship, you couldn’t play with that
person and have a good time and form that friendship until,
you know, gaming really started
to take off. And it’s just getting better
and, I mean, dude, literally, we had…
40 people were just dancing -from different countries
in our lobby, -Yes. and we were only live for,
like, 20 minutes. Like, I mean, it’s just…
it’s a… it’s insane. So what does…
so what does Ninja do now? ‘Cause, I mean, like,
gaming is your life, gaming is your job,
gaming is your money. -Yeah.
-I game… like, to-to relax,
but you game for the job. So what do you do
in your time off? -Do you, like, accounting?
What do you do? -(laughter) Dude, I don’t…
I don’t even know, I don’t even know
what I do in my time off. I mean, I just, I just go,
I literally don’t have time off. -Right. -I get off-stream,
I obviously, uh, I usually watch other streams
and I watch videos and I try to constantly
always improve on my craft, but also, I’m always,
you know, traveling and doing a bunch of stuff, so
when I finally do have time off, man, I’m…
just gonna sleep a lot. -(laughter)
-I’m just gonna, -just gonna give me a beach,
-Right. Corona, you know what I mean,
on the beach, and… and just, I’m
just checked out for, like… -Just chilling there.
-a solid week and a half. Right. I love that.
All the way to the beach, all the way
from your mom’s basement. Congratulations, my man.
Thank you so much. -Really dope having you.
-(cheering, applause) Get Good is available now. And obviously, you can watch him
game at mixer.com/ninja. Tyler Ninja Blevins, everybody.