Shroud announces return to streaming on Twitch

Turner Sports-USA TODAY Sports

Popular livestreamer Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek is returning to Twitch on a new exclusive rights deal, following a seven-month stint with Microsoft-owned platform Mixer, which closed shopped in June.

Shroud announced his return Tuesday to much fanfare. He is the first of the high-profile ex-Mixer streamers to return exclusively to the Amazon-owned platform, where he first built his streaming career as a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive streamer and professional player. Shroud chose Twitch over both YouTube and Facebook Gaming -- which merged with Mixer -- a representative for Loaded, the talent agency that represents him, confirmed to The Washington Post.

"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," Grzesiek said in a statement to the Post.

Shroud's Twitch channel, which was updated with new branding Tuesday, holds more than 7 million followers on the channel but has not been active since October, before he signed with Mixer. Prior to his departure he was considered one of the site's top talents, alongside the likes of Guy "Dr DisRespect" Beahm and others.

His return marks a big win for Twitch in a competitive streaming war, especially in the wake of their ban of Dr DisRespect in June.

After Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and Shroud departed for Mixer last fall, Dr DisRespect became Twitch's top creator and earned himself a multimillion-dollar contract earlier this year. In June, however, Twitch banned him permanently, according to esports journalist Rod "Slasher" Breslau. Dr DisRespect began to stream on YouTube on Aug. 6, but according to Breslau, he has not and will not receive an exclusive deal from YouTube or Facebook.

As a player Shroud became known for his time on Cloud9, one of Counter-Strike's most popular North American teams. After he stepped down from that team in 2017, he went back to Twitch as a full-time career and gained significant financial success as a result.