• While people waited for this return stream to Twitch to begin, Shroud already had generated close to half a million views
  • Despite some technical difficulties resulting in his tardiness, Shroud started playing "Valorant" and began maintaining between 400,000 and 475,000 active viewers
  • It is unclear how much Twitch paid to secure Shroud's return but Microsoft reportedly paid him in the ballpark of $10 million for his brief time on Mixer

Perhaps signifying how popular he truly is on Twitch, the return of Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek to the service owned by Amazon attracted nearly half a million views even before it officially started.

Many of those viewers showed up only to find a “starting soon” message before Shroud turned his camera on at roughly 2:50 p.m. ET. Twitch users continued to visit the stream and Grzesiek surpassed half a million active viewers a few minutes after 3:00 p.m, The Verge reports.

Explaining his tardiness, Grzesiek cited technical difficulties, an excuse he has used previously for scheduled streams that have become a bit of an inside joke to his many fans. He did say, however, that the end result of apparent bit rate and audio issues was that his stream might remain capped at 720p.

Despite those difficulties, Shroud started playing Riot Games’ new tactical shooter “Valorant” and began maintaining between approximately 400,000 and 475,000 active viewers. He is currently responsible for more than 80% of the viewership of “Valorant,” which is now sitting at the top of the most-viewed Twitch charts.

The return of Shroud to Twitch on Wednesday followed Microsoft’s decision to shut down the competing Mixer platform in July. Shroud, together with his “Fortnite”-playing contemporary Tyler ‘Ninja” Blevins and a few other streamers, signed exclusive deals with Mixer in 2019.

The Verge notes that Microsoft reportedly paid Grzesiek and other streamers out of their exclusive contracts as part of the terms of the Mixer shutdown. He then spent more than a month away from streaming while he deliberated which platform he might return to.

He then announced on social media that he would come back to the Amazon-owned product where he originally began streaming complete with an updated logo.

Although Microsoft partnered with Facebook to transition its existing base of users over to the social network’s Facebook Gaming platform, popular streamers like Ninja and Shroud were free to negotiate new deals. Thus, Shroud chose a reunion with Twitch rather than a move to Facebook Gaming or YouTube.

Microsoft reportedly paid Grzesiek in the ballpark of $10 million for his brief time on Mixer although it is unclear how much money Twitch paid to secure his return.

Twitch’s services could help YouTube focus on making its service more engaging, to attract advertisers. Twitch