To many, Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek is the face of Apex Legends on Twitch, and it seems the developers agree after giving him 500 subscribers on the popular streaming platform - although some fans are concerned about what this could mean for the future of streaming.
Apex Legends has quickly become one of the most popular games in the world, garnering 50 million players in its first month alone, although it doesn’t appear to have made a dent in the massive success of Fortnite.
While EA and Respawn have benefited from the success of the battle royale title, former CS:GO pro Grzesiek has also been a major beneficiary of Apex Legends’ success, seeing his Twitch channel grow at an astonishing rate.
While streaming on Sunday, March 24, Respawn Entertainment gifted 500 subscribers to shroud, with the total amount given to the streamer coming in at $2,500, before Twitch took their share of the revenue.
Grzesiek was clearly shocked by the donations, repeatedly asking his viewers: “What is happening?” as the subscribers kept rolling in.
While members of Grzesiek’s chat were happy to be gifted subs, some on the /r/LivestreamFails subreddit have expressed concern at Respawn’s decision to donate to the stream, seeing it as a marketing technique, or an attempt to bribe Twitch personalities to continue playing their game.
“This feels like it could be a slippery slope of companies doing this to entice streamers to play their games,” wrote one Reddit user. “Without it needing to be declared as advertising. Seems weird."
Others have said that this isn't an issue as the fee was so small, that it wouldn’t equate to an actual sponsorship, with shroud rumored to have been paid $1 million to play Apex Legends during its release.
This isn't the first time that the developers have offered gifted subs to streamers, as they previously gave Houston Outlaws' Lucas 'Mendokusaii Håkansson 200 gifted subs following the release of the Season 1 Battle Pass.
Shroud didn’t comment on the donation of subscribers following the event on his stream, and has yet to mention them on Twitter either. We’ll be sure to update this post with any reactions.