Another top video game streamer is leaving Amazon-owned Twitch for Microsoft's growing streaming platform, Mixer. Former competitive gamer Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek announced an exclusive streaming deal with Mixer earlier today, October 24, and will start streaming at 5 pm PT from Mixer.com/shroud.
Shroud will leave 7 million followers behind on Twitch and start fresh on Mixer. Shroud's move comes nearly three months after Mixer signed Tyler "Ninja" Blevins, Twitch's former top streamer, to an exclusive deal. Following Ninja's departure, the only other streamer with more Twitch followers than Shroud was "Fortnite" player Turner "Tfue" Tenney.
—Michael Grzesiek (@shroud) October 24, 2019
Shroud began his career as a professional "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" (CS:GO) player before growing into one of the most popular livestreamers in the world. Known for his incredible skill in first person shooting games, Shroud plays a diverse collection of games, and has tallied nearly 13 billion total stream minutes watched and over 360 million lifetime YouTube video views, according to Mixer.
"Whether it was Counter-Strike, Apex Legends, PUBG or all the games in between, livestreaming has allowed me to make a career doing what I love," Shroud said in a statement. "Streaming is my passion and I owe my success to my fans who have helped me get to where I am now. Mixer provides the flexibility to center my attention around them. I am excited to join the Mixer community, as well as continue to build relationships with both players and fans."
Though Ninja's arrival on Mixer has spurred new interest in the platform, it still lags far behind Twitch and YouTube Gaming in terms of viewership. However, Mixer has seen significant growth compared to last year and the total amount of streamed content has jumped by 188% in the last 3 months, according to data from Streamlabs.
Shroud teaming up with Mixer was supported by Loaded, Shroud's management company, responsible for overseeing key areas of his career, including sponsorships, media licensing, merchandising, partnerships, appearances and more. Notably, Ninja is represented by Loaded as well.
"Mixer continues to grow and build upon its already stellar creator community with Shroud," Loaded founder and CEO Brandon Freytag said. "Shroud is an incredibly skilled player who has dominated some of the world's most popular games and we're thrilled that Mixer continues to grow and build upon its already stellar creator community with his addition. We look forward to exploring new opportunities on the platform for him and his community."
Twitch losing another major streamer to Mixer could drive more competition over the most popular content creators. Most video game streamers depend on viewer donations to support themselves, so chasing after Twitch's massive audience is often a necessity. But it appears that the top talent has found ways to negotiate more a stable kind of compensation outside of Twitch.