Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, one of the most popular streamers in the world, garnered over 500,000 viewers in his first stream since returning to Twitch.

Shroud’s comeback stream attracted almost 500,000 viewers before it even started, though it started behind schedule due to technical difficulties. But once Shroud turned on his camera and started playing Valorant, he was able was able to maintain an average viewership of almost 238,000 people throughout his seven-hour, 37-minute stream.

Shroud voiced his surprise at how many people tuned into his comeback stream, admitting he only expected around 200,000 viewers. The stream notably hit its peak number of viewers with 516,289.

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

Shroud notably moved from streaming exclusively on Twitch to Microsoft’s Mixer in October last year alongside fellow top streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. Mixer failed to find an audience however, even with streaming numbers surging on other platforms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both Ninja and Shroud saw a huge decrease in their viewer numbers after switching to Mixer, with Shroud losing approximately 85% of his viewers after moving.

Less than a year after they lured Ninja and Shroud to their platform, Microsoft announced that they were shutting down Mixer in June, with the platform having its last day on July 22.

Esports insider Rod “Slasher” Breslau reported that Facebook tried to negotiate new deals with both streamers, but was unable to find favorable terms and was forced to buy them both out instead, with Ninja reportedly getting US$30M and Shroud getting US$10M.

Shroud spent more than a month away from streaming then announced his return to Twitch on his Twitter account a day before his comeback stream.

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