Last night, Twitch broke its record for most-viewed stream by a single player when pro-gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins assembled an unlikely supergroup to play the wildly-popular sandbox shooter Fortnite. Ninja was joined by NFL rookie turned gamer JuJu Smith-Schuster (FaZeJuJu_19), rapper Travis Scott (cactus_jackk92), and — drum roll please — pop superstar Drake (TheBoyDuddus).
Ninja played a few matches just with Drake, and then all four got together for some team action. At its peak, the stream was trending on Twitter and hit 628,000 concurrent viewers, smashing the previous record of 388,000 viewers for a single-player stream. You can watch the team games in the embed above, or Drake and Ninja playing together below:
Some highlights include Drake discussing pineapple on pizza (he’s in favor); Drake and Ninja talking about the future development of Fortnite (Drake thinks they should concentrate on improving existing maps rather than creating new ones); and plenty of teamwork to help make the dream work (including Drake dropping weapons for Ninja). Drake said he’s been playing Fortnite for a month or two, watching Ninja on YouTube while taking breaks from recording his next album.
This stream is more than just pop culture ephemera though — it shows the huge cross-over potential video game live-streaming, and particularly Fortnite, which has become a phenomenon after copying the survival play-style of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Ninja usually gets around 70,000 live viewers per stream, so to pump this up to more than half a million is quite the achievement.
In a press statement, Twitch’s SVP of marketing, Kate Jhaveri, said: “Ninja and Drake’s Fortnite livestream on Twitch attracted 628K concurrent viewers, setting a new milestone in terms of peak concurrent viewers on an individual’s channel. Seeing a top gamer and musician come together on Twitch and unite their large and passionate communities is a cultural moment in terms of building awareness around the appeal of social video and it’s only going to grow from here.”
“That was pretty lit man, about as lit as it can get,” said Ninja after the games were finished. “Drake said he had to pack for a flight tomorrow so he’s out... We literally made history tonight.” Celebs on Twitch? Maybe it’s god’s plan.
Update, March 16th, 04:00AM ET: Updated with comment from Twitch, and confirmed the record as 628,000 concurrent views.