Along with his two older brothers, Blevins began playing video games at a young age.
"My dad actually was the main influence," Blevins explained on the Twitch stream "Walshy's Halo History." "He loved video games when they started to come out and he would purchase them 'for us,' but really we would go to bed around as early as you can imagine when we were little, 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. .... He would play on the consoles until 2 or 3 a.m. in the morning."
The family owned early gaming consoles like Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo and bought Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation games when they came out in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In November 2001, Halo, a multi-player, futuristic war game was launched on Xbox.
As a 9- or 10-year-old, Tyler asked to play Halo along with his older brothers John and Chris Blevins, John remembers. They thought he was too young to play, but "he just destroyed us," says John.
"He would stay up past the wee hours and just keep working," Chris adds. "I think that's when we were like, 'Okay, maybe we're not going to play with Tyler anymore.'"
As Blevins realized his skill and the potential to play in competitions and win prize money, he became serious about gaming.
"I started realizing, 'Oh my god, you can actually go to these events, I can actually make a team and I can compete against them," he says. "That was when stuff got real."
He first played competitively in 2009 by entering a Halo 3 event in Orlando to small success. But Blevins gained notoriety playing a later version of the game, Halo: Reach, in 2011 at competitions in Dallas; Columbus, Ohio; and Anaheim, California.
"You have to be better than hundreds of people, thousands of people — you have to be the best player to even win money from tournaments," says Blevins. And he was. The same year, Blevins was making about $100 a day streaming his playing on Twitch.
In 2012, his team won the Halo 4 2012 MGL Fall Championships, with Blevins notching the highest score in the final game. He's since competed with major e-sports teams like Team Liquid and Renegades.
For Blevin's family, the growing success was a surprise.
"You know you argue with him about how much time he's spending on it, and he starts making a little money here and there, and it's nothing," Tyler's father Chuck Blevins says. "Then the next thing you know, he tells me 'I'm getting streams. I'm getting subscriptions. I'm getting sponsors.' And I'm thinking, 'Where is this coming from?'"
Blevins was doing so well that last year he announced he would not be competing in Halo championship events, instead focusing on streaming "Fortnite" on Twitch.
A giant force in e-sports and video games, Twitch streams have been watched for 355 billion minutes as of January 2017, with 15 million daily active users and over 2 million unique broadcasters every month. The company was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million.