Twitch Signs Top YouTube Streamer Nick Eh 30

Nick Eh 30 - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of CAA

Twitch's deal with the 'Fortnite' player comes just weeks after the platform's biggest star, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, moved to Microsoft's Mixer.

Twitch has courted another big name in live streaming to its platform: Nicholas "Nick Eh 30" Amyoony.

Boasting more than 4.6 million followers on YouTube, the 24-year-old Lebanese Canadian has grown into one of the marquee talents on the platform since he launched his channel in 2014. While Amyoony will continue to post vlogs and videos to his YouTube channel, the streamer has signed an exclusive live-streaming deal with Twitch, migrating to the Amazon-owned platform to bolster his competitive play and reach a new audience. 

"I’ve grown and raised a really great community that always has my back," Amyoony says of his audience, which he is "100 percent" certain will follow him on the move to Twitch. "I’m really big on communicating with my audience. With live-streaming on Twitch there’s a lot less of a delay because of low latency. That’s huge for me."

To aid in the migration, Twitch is offering a "loyalty bonus" to Amyoony's current YouTube followers who bought membership to his channel by ensuring they maintain their earned loyalty badges when following the streamer to the new platform.

Amyoony also sees Twitch as a better platform for him to break further into e-sports. Primarily known for playing Epic Games' Fortnite, Amyoony says Twitch can elevate his competitive play. There’s a lot of Twitch-exclusive competitions, such as Twitch Rivals (a series of competitive events held on the platform), where I’ll be able to compete and up my game," he says.

Twitch's deal with Amyoony comes just weeks after the platform's biggest star, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, opted to jump ship for Microsoft's Mixer streaming service. Blevins was arguably the first game streaming star to achieve mainstream crossover success, with appearances on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and sponsorship deals with brands like Red Bull and Uber Eats. Details of Blevins' Mixer deal have not been made public.

Twitch is remaining similarly hush on Amyoony's new deal (as are other knowledgeable sources contacted by The Hollywood Reporter), but IDC research director of gaming Lewis Ward tells THR that the "arms race" to sign big-name talent is heating up between streaming platforms. 

"Making a few shorter-term bets on talent that are a great ambassador or 'face' of a given brand or platform makes sense," says Ward. "It’s certainly true that exclusive games differentiate one gaming platform from another, so perhaps having some media influencer talent on board that’s also exclusive can similarly move the needle for a streaming platform."

With Blevins' departure from the platform, Twitch's second and third-most followed streamers combined don't add up to the number of subscribers on Ninja's channel. According to analytics firm Sensor Tower, first-time U.S. installs of the Twitch app for the week of July 29, when Ninja announced his move to Mixer, were down nearly 6 percent week-over-week, the largest week-to-week decline since early May. However, viewership on the platform has not dipped overall since Blevins' left. Overall average monthly viewers on the platform increased in August over July, from 1.2 million to 1.3 million. 

"This is all pretty new, so there will be some hard lessons learned in the next few years as streamers, streaming platforms, e-sports companies and game developers all try to figure out how they can best benefit each other," says Lewis. "I expect to see some acrimonious and very public, ugly breakups."

After Blevins left the platform, Twitch began promoting other channels on the now dormant Ninja page. Earlier this month, one of those channels briefly streamed pornography on the page. Blevins claimed in a video posted shortly after the incident that he had been trying to get Twitch to remove the page and stop promoting other channels through it and also apologized to anyone who might have seen the adult content, saying he was "disgusted" by it. In response, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear apologized for the content and "permanently banned" the channel responsible for broadcasting it.

Twitch's signing of Amyoony (who is repped by CAA, which orchestrated the deal) may be viewed as a response to Blevins' departure. Amyoony bills himself as a "family-friendly" streamer, appealing to all ages. While other top Twitch streamers, such as Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek, Herschel "Dr Disrespect" Beahm IV and Turner "Tfue" Tenney may feature more adult language or game content, Amyoony offers a bit of alternative programming for Twitch's younger viewers.  

Amyoony promises that he will be offering "very similar content" on his new platform. "It's the good old, same me," he says.