What happens when two music stars team up with an NFL wide receiver and a renowned pro gamer? An online ratings bonanza.
Twitch, the online gaming streaming service, shattered its viewing records overnight when pop superstar Drake, rapper Travis Scott and Pittsburgh Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster joined celebrity professional gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins in the sandbox shooter game Fortnite.
At its peak, the foursome attracted 630,000 concurrent viewers and the match was trending on Twitter. That figured demolished Twitch’s previous record of 388,000 concurrent viewers on a single gamer’s stream.
Blevins hinted during the week that he might team up with Drake in the game. He regularly played the pop star’s songs during his streams.
Blevins plays Fortnite on a PC. Drake plays on a PlayStation 4. Fortnite’s developers only earlier this month debuted a “crossplay” feature that allows users on one type device to join a partner on another platform.
The pair’s audience ballooned when Drake tweeted a link to their stream, just before 1 a.m., to his 36.8 million followers.
Smith-Schuster almost immediately announced his desire to join the game. Scott joined in at about the same time.
“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,” Twitch marketing senior vice president Kate Jhaveri said in a statement.
Check out some highlights from Blevins’s match with Drake below.
Be warned: the gamers use some colorful language.
Drake told Blevins he’s been playing Fortnite for about a month as he works on his new album. Drake and his producers spend so much time in the studio, he said, sometimes they need to take a mental break and unwind with some video games.
“We suck, but we still try to do our thing,” he said.
When Smith-Schuster dropped into the game, he said it was “better than scoring a touchdown.”
Twitch in 2017 attracted more than 15 million unique daily visitors, according to figures the company released in a year-end report. Fortnite was the second-most popular game on the site in terms of minutes watched. (Note: Twitch is owned by Amazon, whose CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
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