Mixer Doubles Down on Twitch Talent By Poaching Another Popular Streamer

Mixer Doubles Down on Twitch Talent By Poaching Another Popular Streamer

In the wake of recent departures in Mixer's leadership team, Shroud is following Ninja to Microsoft's streaming platform.

Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek is leaving Twitch for Mixer. Grzesiek's departure marks the second prominent defection from Amazon's streaming platform to Microsoft's this year, after Tyler "Ninja" Blevins moved to Mixer in August.

Grzesiek, a former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional player, rose to prominence on Twitch as one of the most popular PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds streamers at the height of the title's popularity. Grzesiek also frequently streams Apex Legends, World of Warcraft, and Rainbow Six Siege.

The move was announced with a video posted to Grzesiek's Twitter along with a banner takeover on Mixer's official account.

Grzesiek is the first prominent streamer Mixer has signed since Blevins, and the first since both of Mixer's co-founders and a third prominent executive left Microsoft. In the last month, James Boehm and Matt Salsamendi both left Mixer, which they founded under the name Beam in 2016. Former Xbox corporate vice president Mike Ybarra, who oversaw Mixer along with Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass, announced he is leaving Microsoft to join Blizzard Entertainment.

Blevins, formerly Twitch's most popular streamer, left the service for Mixer in August. As of early 2018, Blevins had 3.7 million followers on Twitch and was making $500,000 per month. Microsoft and Blevins have not disclosed how much Mixer paid for the exclusivity contract. Comparing the follower counts on Twitch for Blevins and Grzesiek would be somewhat moot this long after Ninja's departure, but on YouTube, Blevins currently has 22.4 million subscribers to Grzesiek's 5.48 million.

As Julia Alexander notes at The Verge, a recent report reveals that total monthly hours viewed on Mixer jumped by about 3 million hours to 40.2 million in the month that Ninja joined the service, while Twitch—by far the more popular service—saw monthly hours viewed rise to 932.1 million.

Grzesiek's first stream on Mixer is scheduled for 8pm ET later today. Since the announcement, thousands of fans have gathered on Mixer to celebrate the move in the chat.

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Mathew Olson

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Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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