Shroud, the prominent Twitch streamer who first built a following as a competitive gamer, is moving to the Microsoft-owned Mixer, following the previous path taken by Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, in the latest big “get” for the platform. Shroud’s real name is Michael Grzesiek, and his streams were followed by millions of people on Twitch.
Grzesiek made the big announcement on his Twitter page on October 24, 2019, writing, “Same shroud. New home.” He then posted a video clip, which you can see below. The video had been viewed 2.9 million times in just three hours. “I’m making moves,” he said, as the word “Mixer” appeared on his screen. You can see Shroud’s Mixer Channel here. Shortly after he announced the Mixer move, the channel had a countdown to his first stream, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on October 24. More than 270,000 people had viewed his channel in three hours. You can see embeds of his video and chat streams later in this article.
“Streaming is my passion and I owe my success to my fans who have helped me get to where I am now,” Shroud said in a press release, according to GameSpot. “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.”
Here’s an embed of Shroud’s video stream:
Here’s an embed of his chat:
Mixer describes itself as “Home to a unique community of gamers, creators, draw-ers, music-ers, and do-ers. Streaming is better this way.” Mixer’s Twitter page wrote, “The Mixer Community grows. Welcome @Shroud! ?” and prominently displayed the countdown to Shroud’s first stream on its home page.
According to Yahoo Entertainment, Shroud is an esports streamer whose streams include games like Minecraft and Apex Legends; he had 6.5 million followers on Twitch, which is second on the site. GameSpot describes how Shroud started by playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professionally, and retired from that in 2018 with nearly 13 billion minutes watched. In addition to the games listed by Yahoo Entertainment, he plays things like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, GameSpot reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ninja called Shroud’s Streaming Move ‘a Massive Move’ for the Mixer Platform
Ninja, who made the move to Mixer first, weighed in on the Shroud announcement on Twitter, writing, “Shroud making the move to @WatchMixer is seriously a massive move for the platform and the streaming industry. Excited to watch more of his streams!”
Others had mixed opinions. “Yeah, but Mixer is still one of the worst streaming platforms in the world, so good job for Shroud on selling out temporarily instead of thinking long term,” wrote one person in response to Ninja’s tweet. However, another fan wrote, “This is going to be very interesting to say the least! Mixer is actually making big moves and this actually excites me! Twitch will be my main platform for now but the possibility of mixer is not out of the question just yet.”
“Yes money is involved, but true fans follow, having a extra tab up is easily done. I come for the entertainment not the URL,” wrote another.
In 2019, The Verge reported that Ninja was moving from Twitch to Mixer, a site that still doesn’t have the same name recognition. YouTube Gaming is the other competition to Twitch and Mixer.
Mixer’s biggest lure, reports The Verge, is its integration with “Xbox One and Windows dashboards” and the fact it allows amateur streamers as well as professional ones, providing ways for them to make money.
The Verge reports that Mixer has about 69,000 streams whereas Twitch has more than 1.5 million, which shows the importance to Mixer of creating a buzz by luring over Ninja and Shroud. Mixer’s concurrent viewer count is growing, according to StreamLabs data. Mixer has over 10 million monthly users, according to Yahoo Entertainment, compared to 15 million a day for Twitch.
In 2016, Microsoft announced that it was snapping up the gaming startup that was created by an 18-year-old entrepreneur. The site was originally called Beam (that’s now Mixer). Now, with Shroud’s move, the platform is gaining another big name. It’s all part of a battle between two behemoth companies – Amazon, which owns Twitch, and Microsoft, which owns Mixer – to capture the attention of streaming fans.
According to a 2016 press release from Microsoft on acquiring Beam, “Team Xbox is proud to announce that Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Beam, an innovative and interactive livestreaming service that gives viewers the ability to watch and play along with their favorite game streamers in real-time.”
Microsoft further wrote that “Based in Seattle, Beam has evolved game streaming from a passive, watch-and-chat experience into one with real-time participation by the viewer; directly into a streamer’s game play and live broadcast.” Beam was founded by Matt Salsamendi, who was only a teenager when Microsoft bought him and a co-founder out.
“I vividly remember many of the hundreds of late nights that were spent. Hundreds of thousands of lines of code written. Millions of hours of streams during beta,” wrote Salsamendi in a blog post quoted by CNN but which has since been taken down.
Salsamendi Has Described How He Built Beam – Later Mixer – Out of a Love of Minecraft & Building Gaming Communities
Salsamendi left Mixer in October 2019. In a statement he posted to Twitter, he explained that the “seed for Mixer was planted in the Summer of 2011. I was 13 years old and like most kids my age I was super excited about Minecraft. I spent my time after school hosting servers for friends and eventually petitioned my dad for $7 to buy a piece of software that would expand my server hosting hobby to more people.”
He and co-founder James Boehm “found a passion for building things for gaming communities.” This led to Beam, a “live streaming platform with low latency, putting streamers at the center of everything we do.”
Fast forward to 2016 and Microsoft acquires Beam. “Going into the acquisition as a young founder, I truthfully wasn’t sure exactly what to expect,” Salsamendi wrote. “The support we received from across Microsoft was humbling for me and the experience I’ve gained in the last 3 years is irreplaceable.”
He wrote that he had decided, though, that he was ready to try something different – lasers. He said he was fascinated “with the idea of using light to represent music” and decided he wanted to “Pursue that passion in a bigger way.” He wrote that he was proud to hold the title “Co-Founder of Mixer.”
Boehm also left Mixer in October 2019. “James Boehm, co-founder of Mixer, formerly Beam, announced today his departure from Microsoft and his vision to empower and engage communities and creators through a series of investments and new business ventures,” a press release states.
READ NEXT: Ninja’s Net Worth.