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Shroud Leaves Twitch For Mixer, Following In Ninja's Footsteps

Remember all the hullabaloo following Ninja's prolific switch from Twitch to Mixer? At the time, we wondered if we'd see a mass exodus to the new streaming platform. That's not really what happened, but today we found out that another big name streamer will be departing Twitch in favor of Microsoft's new platform. Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek, a master of multiplayer shooters, has announced that his new home is on Mixer. 


Today, in a very cinematic (and loud) video on Twitter, Shroud announced his move to Mixer, saying, "Same Shroud. New home." And instantly, Mixer started trending on Twitter alongside his surprising announcement. Fan reactions seem to be a mix (ha) of shock and cynicism, with many tweets are theorizing about how much money Microsoft forked over in order to get Shroud to exclusively stream on its platform. It's no secret that Ninja got a big paycheck in exchange for his switch, so it's very likely Shroud is making a healthy chunk of change, too.

Shroud has the third highest subscriber count on Twitch, if the numbers are to be believed. And it seems Mixer is trying to make it easy for the streamer's fans to follow him over, as the platform is offering users a free month-long subscription to Shroud if they create a Mixer account. Mixer's strategy of poaching some of the biggest streamers out there is likely to work out in terms of increasing engagement on the platform. When Ninja came on board, the number of hours watched on Mixer increased exponentially. Perhaps having Shroud on Mixer will provide the service with the same kind of boost. That's likely what Microsoft is counting on.


Why would someone making more than many of us see in a year take a chance on a far less popular platform? As we mentioned before, we're betting that it has something to do with money. Ninja switched as part of a deal from Microsoft, earning an undisclosed amount of cash in exchange for his loyalty to the platform. There's no official word yet if Shroud signed a similar contract to Ninja, but fans are guessing that there were some big checks and legal work involved because originally, Shroud saw Ninja's absence on Twitch as a chance for him to grow his channel. When the news broke out in August, Shroud said laughingly, "Hey man, Ninja's gone. It's all me, baby. Gotta take advantage."

And yet, one of the reasons Ninja abandoned Twitch was for the chance to grow even more. Perhaps Shroud also saw the opportunity to get bigger than ever via Mixer, too.

Mixer doesn't quite have the user base that Twitch enjoys, but it does have a lot of features that enhance interactivity between streamers and their viewers. That's the whole idea behind Mixer, in fact. Mixer prides itself on it's Faster Than Light protocol, which means that viewers get to see what their favorite streamer is doing as they do it. Unlike other platforms that have 10 to 20 second delays, Mixer aims to have a sub-second delay. That's fast.


Thanks to this almost real time speed, Mixer is able to host features that allow for viewers to really get involved in streams. The audience can play minigames of their own and make wagers using a special Mixer-specific currency. Not only that, streamers can create customized polls and let viewers vote on their actions in real time. It's kind of like Twitch Plays Pokemon, but alongside your favorite internet personality. 

Shroud made a name for himself through his incredible skills in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, eventually earning himself a place on one of the most popular esports teams out there, Cloud 9. His professional gaming career was short, but he seemed to find his true calling streaming on Twitch. Shroud made a pretty penny playing CS: GO professionally, but as we've learned, streaming can mean insane payouts on the daily. Subscriptions, donations, and those Twitch bits can really add up. At one time, it's estimated that Shroud's Twitch subscriptions alone were earning him approximately $85,000 a month. We'll let that sink in for a minute.

What does Shroud's departure mean for Twitch? Will life go on for the video game streaming website? Is the platform dying? Probably not as far as the latter is concerned, but Twitch has certainly experienced growing pains over the years that Mixer has yet to suffer from. Twitch's reputation has been marred over time by various scandals, no-good streamers, and misuse of the platform. Mixer's biggest sin so far might be the way it's stealing streamers, and that's just business.


Fans are already flocking to Shroud's Mixer channel and spamming the chat with excited emotes. We'll let you know if more news breaks ahead of Shroud's inaugural Mixer stream, which is scheduled to take place around 8 p.m. ET.