Another top Twitch streamer has left Twitch for Mixer. Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek becomes the 2nd major streamer to exit the Amazon-owned platform and sign an exclusive streaming deal with Mixer, which came into effect on October 24, 2019.
The former professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player announced the Mixer deal through a video on his Twitter account, joking that he’s “making moves,” similar to Ninja’s announcement video in August 2019.
Unlike Ninja’s initial transition to the Microsoft-streaming platform, Shroud has shed a bit more light into his decision making the day of the announcement. In an interview with Newsweek, Grzesiek stated that “the move to Mixer allows me to focus on what I love: gaming. I just want to stream for my fans and directly engage with my gaming friends, and Mixer allows me to do that with more interactivity and variety.”
Shroud’s first Mixer stream premiered on Thursday night, with him playing the newly released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. His stream peaked at 78,000 concurrent viewers, and he currently has 360,000 followers’ only 24-hours after launching the channel.
At the same time, Twitch stripped the streamer of his verified partner badge, and his channel, for a short time, disappeared from search results. According to Twitch, the search disappearance was merely a bug that hid several streamers, and Shroud has already begun showing up in search traffic on the platform once again. Unfortunate, timing for Twitch, similar to when it accidentally ran porn on Ninja’s dormant channel only weeks after his exit.
The deal itself was set in motion by Shroud’s management company, Loaded. Founder Brandon Freytag told Newsweek that “this was the right move for him and Mixer is a great platform for gaming.” It may come as no surprise that Loaded also represents Ninja, and with Shroud’s announcement coming only 2-months after, this may hint at a greater strategy by Loaded. They may be looking to establish a presence with their larger clients on Mixer, making way for others that are close behind in popularity.
While Mixer exclusivity has been a refresh for Ninja, allowing for additional brand deals, and will possibly do the same for Shroud, it hasn’t done much for the platform itself. Ninja’s arrival has increased the number of active streamers, leading to a jump of 188% in streamed content in the last 3-months, but it hasn’t done much for viewership. Mixer still lags far behind Twitch and YouTube Gaming, with September viewing numbers,1-month after Ninja’s switch, dropping below July’s, 1-Month before Ninja’s switch.
It’s still hard to tell what Xbox’s strategy with Mixer is, but after Ninja exclusively streamed the first few hours of Gears 5 and Shroud launched his channel with the newly released COD, we may be seeing a pattern. Establishing personalities around 1st, and 3rd party releases to get more eyes and players to choose Xbox and Mixer over competitors. We’ll have to wait for another larger Twitch streamer to make the jump in the next few months to see what Microsoft has planned.