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‘Fortnite’ expert ‘Ninja’ is first pro gamer to land ESPN The Magazine cover story

Cody Perez

World-famous Fortnite player “Ninja” will be the first professional gamer to grace the cover of ESPN The Magazine in its 20-plus-year history when its next issue lands. Ninja himself broke the news recently on Twitter.

The issue entitled “The Legend of Ninja, Biggest Gamer in the World” will be hitting store shelves both digitally and physically Friday, September 21. An in-depth feature will detail the esports star’s life and story of how Tyler “Ninja” Blevins rose to such unprecedented fame this year. In addition, this gaming-centric issue of ESPN The Magazine will also focus on other related esports topics.

For instance, it will include a piece entitled “Sunday in Jacksonville” that tackles the Jacksonville, Florida, shooting incident during a recent Madden tournament that resulted in two people killed and 11 wounded. According to ESPN, this piece will be the “definitive” story of what happened, why it happened, and what it means for the future of the esports community.

The Ninja issue of ESPN The Magazine will also offer a guide to esports for newcomers that details which game would be best for them to try. Readers will get an inside look at the Sea Salt Suite, a place that EVO fighting game competitors are known to hang out at after competing at the annual event.

Lastly, it wouldn’t be right to have Fortnite pro Ninja on the cover of ESPN The Magazine and not focus on the game that made him famous. Accordingly, this issue will take a look at the dances in Fortnite with Olympic skater and Dancing with the Stars winner Adam Rippon breaking them all down.

After skyrocketing to popularity earlier this year — thanks in part to some Fortnite Battle Royale streaming sessions with rapper Drake that saw some records fall — it’s no surprise that Ninja is on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. Since then, Blevins has continued to break records, as well as win numerous competitions like the E3 $1 million celebrity charity event hosted by Epic Games. He also still holds the record for the most popular streamer on Twitch, with more than 11 million followers and an average of over 43,000 viewers per stream.