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Even Shroud is shocked at his Twitch viewer count after returning

The FPS streamer hit over 500,000 viewers during his return stream

Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek stands onstage prior to the Doritos Bowl 2018 at TwitchCon 2018 Photo: Robert Reiners/Getty Images
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

First-person shooter streamer Michael Grzesiek, better known by Shroud, returned to Twitch on Wednesday and was rewarded with a staggering number of viewers.

Grzesiek’s Twitch stream peaked at around 516,000 viewers, who ended up watching him fiddle with his audio and bit rate settings. After making sure that his stream was up to par, he began streaming Valorant, boosting the game’s live viewer count on Twitch significantly. During the livestream, Grzesiek said he only expected around 200,000 fans to tune in.

The excitement around his return isn’t surprising, as he was previously one of the most popular livestreamers on Twitch before inking a deal with Mixer. Following the closure of the Microsoft-owned streaming service, fans speculated about where he would stream. After a month of silence, he began to tease his return to Twitch via Twitter.

“I don’t know why there are so many of you here, but I appreciate it,” Grzesiek said on stream. “I’m just a normal dude who likes to play games a lot. It’s crazy, man. Crazy.”

Despite the hype, Grzesiek told viewers to not expect anything outrageous from the stream, citing DrDisrespect’s highly-produced YouTube stream that included an elaborate Lamborghini introduction. By contrast, Grzesiek’s livestream was much more low key. All the same, Grzesiek’s return overshadowed nearly everyone else on the livestreaming service, with other popular Twitch streams as of this writing only reaching around 50,000 viewers.

Grzesiek first gained notoriety as a Counter-Strike streamer before joining Cloud9 to play the game professionally. After a short pro career, Grzesiek moved to streaming full time, where he became one Twitch’s most popular streamers, with an emphasis on battle royale games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Apex Legends, as well as other multiplayer shooters.

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