After a brief dalliance with Microsoft’s now-defunct live streaming platform, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek returns to Twitch with an exclusive deal. The length and financials of the deal were not disclosed.

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Shroud, who still holds more than 7 million followers on his Twitch channel where he grew to fame, playing as a professional on “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”

“As I was exploring options, I realized that there was no better place than Twitch to engage with the best and most loyal gaming community worldwide,” Grzesiek said in a statement. He added that the channel would be relaunched with a new look and logo.

Grzesiek was part of a talent exodus from Twitch last year, kick-started by Tyler “Ninja” Blevins in August 2019 when he signed a multimillion-dollar contract to stream exclusively to Microsoft’s Mixer platform. A few months later in October, Grzesiek signed with Mixer as well. Both talents are represented by Loaded, a gamer talent management firm.

“There’s nothing better than a homecoming, so we’re thrilled to welcome Shroud and his incredible community back to Twitch,” Michael Aragon, SVP of Content at Twitch said in the statement.

Followers will need to re-subscribe to Grzesiek’s Twitch channel but their subscription tenures will be recognized, according to a spokesperson for Loaded, who confirmed Grzesiek also considered YouTube and Facebook after his time with Mixer ended.

Microsoft shuttered Mixer in June this year after it failed to gain any headway in the streaming marketplace. The site only saw 0.2 percent growth year over year, while Twitch and Facebook Gaming saw triple-digit growth, and YouTube gaming saw 65 percent growth. Xbox head Phil Spencer said Microsoft had to rethink how it wants to grow its gaming community. The shuttering came just before talks of Microsoft purchasing TikTok from Chinese conglomerate ByteDance went public.

Blevins is still a free agent, but returned to his 15-million-follower Twitch channel earlier this month for the first time this year. He’s also streamed on YouTube. Ninja’s signing started a wave of other streamer talents signing exclusive contracts, either with Twitch, Facebook Gaming or YouTube. Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, YouTube’s most popular creator, signed an exclusive contract with YouTube in May.

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