SHROUD: Michael Grzesiek, professionally known by his online alias shroud, is a Canadian streamer and former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional.

Michael Grzesiek, one of the most influential live-streamers on the internet, has just announced his exclusive return to Twitch: the platform that made him famous, after a detour to Mixer (It was a video game live streaming platform) that possibly fetched him a lump sum $10 million when the site went dark and his contract got paid out.

This is a really big deal. Shroud was by far the greatest name on Twitch (before the Mixer acquisition), and after he left the platform last October after amassing around 7 million followers, it was an indication of talent moving away to other platforms like YouTube, Facebook Gaming, and well, Mixer. After 10 months, and after a pandemic, the live-streaming landscape has shifted. Again.

While the pandemic has brought the industrial sector on it’s knees, the live-streaming platforms have flourished. According to a report, Twitch grew by 56% in terms of hours watched and FB Gaming grew by 75% in the same time frame. Shroud’s return to Twitch means that his 7 million followers as of now, will impart even more growth to Twitch in the latter part of the year.

Twitch vs Rivals

Shroud was among the players that were signed up by Microsoft’s Mixer last year as it looked to take on Twitch. He signed a lucrative deal with the streaming platform in October. It meant saying goodbye to the 7 million followers he’d attracted on Twitch, where he built a name for himself through his Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gameplay.

But in June 2020, Microsoft announced that it would be shutting down Mixer as it was unable to stand the competition from Twitch and Facebook Gaming. This shutdown released a lot of gamers like Shroud from their contracts.

His return to Twitch reunites him with the platform where he first made his name as a streamer. “There’s nothing better than a homecoming, so we’re thrilled to welcome Shroud and his incredible community back to Twitch,” said Michael Aragon, Senior VP Content at Twitch. “Our mission is to bring people together every day, and we look forward to seeing the FPS legend back in action, exclusively on Twitch.

Twitch signing Shroud to an exclusive deal just means one thing: they do not want him to leave again. Just like how YouTube signed an exclusive live-streaming deal with PewDiePie.