Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek is one of the most popular streamers on the internet, and on August 11, he announced that he was returning to Twitch with an exclusive agreement.
“I am so excited to be able to announce my return to Twitch and more importantly get back to streaming. Twitch is where I was able to first turn my passion for streaming into a successful career – and it is all due to my incredible and loyal fanbase,” Shroud said in a release. “As I was exploring options, I realized that there was no better place than Twitch to engage with the best and most loyal gaming community worldwide. I am also excited to relaunch my channel with a new look and logo that I know my fans will love. I’m back, baby!”
“Welcome home, @shroud,” Twitch tweeted.
Grzesiek has more than 7.1 million followers on his Twitch account as of this writing, and he left the service in October of last year to join fellow streamer Richard “Ninja” Blevins on the short-lived streaming platform Mixer, which merged with Facebook Gaming upon shuttering. The two streamers allegedly were paid out in the millions when the service went under. Facebook reportedly offered Ninja and Shroud almost double their contracts, but they decided to walk away and take a payout, according to gaming journalist Rod Breslau.
Streaming is a lucrative enterprise these days, with Twitch seeing explosive growth during the ongoing pandemic. According to Arsenal.gg and StreamElements, Twitch saw 60% year-over-year growth in hours watched in June of this year.
Grzesiek is insanely popular. He’s the third most popular streamer on Twitch, behind Ninja and Turner “Tfue” Tenney, who have 15 million and 8.9 million followers each, respectively. He’s a former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro who also streams Call of Duty Black Ops 4: Blackout, Valorant, Apex Legends, and Rainbow Six Siege. Both Blevins, who has not signed an exclusivity contract since Mixer, and Grzesiek, are represented by Loaded, who handled the deal.
“We are excited for Shroud to return to Twitch, where it all began,” said Brandon Freytag, co-founder and SVP of Talent at Loaded. “This relationship is a perfect match as one of the most skillful gamers is returning to the home of livestream gaming. As Shroud continues to elevate his brand, Twitch allows him an opportunity to continue dominating the world’s most popular brands, while engaging with his loyal community eager to see him back on stream.”
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