Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek has grown into one of streaming’s giants, but the FPS veteran admits he had it a bit easier than most.
When you think of streamers, shroud is likely to be one of the first names that pops up. The FPS veteran has been getting on camera since 2013, while his CS:GO pro career was in full swing.
His god-like ability in the title drew fans in, and his entertaining personality developed as he got comfortable. Because he was with organizations like Cloud9 for so long, the streamer raked in followers, sponsors, and more.
Companies wanted their games, and their products, attached to him. If shroud gave your game a glowing rendition viewers went through the roof. It only takes an example, like Escape from Tarkov, to show the weight his words have.
However, shroud’s name wasn’t always at the top of Twitch or Mixer. Much like everyone else who makes it big on the platform, he had to grind his way to the top — with a healthy dose of luck on the side.
The streamer opened up on his journey to the top in a March 29 YouTube video, and how his streaming dream is being realized.
“What would I be doing if I wasn’t a streamer? No idea,” he said. “If I wasn’t a streamer I’d probably be trying to be a streamer, honestly. I don’t think I’d give up because — 30 years old, living with my parents, I wouldn’t [give up that dream].”
For shroud, who spent a lot of time behind a screen anyways, streaming was a way to show off to his pre-existing fans. He had a fanbase waiting for him, and support in place to help boost his stream from day one. Many other streamers didn’t have that, and for that, shroud is incredibly grateful.
“I’m probably one of the more lucky people in this position,” he said. I don’t know if I really earned [my fame]. I think it’s more ‘right place, right time,’ and carrying that over. Does that count as earning it? I don’t know.
“To me, [beginning a career in streaming on Twitch] was very easy, but that’s because I was fortunate. It didn’t feel like I was earning anything, which I think is the best way to earn something.”
For mobile readers, the related segment begins at 5:17.
Shroud knows, though, that many others like him had to put in a lot of sacrifices to make their name synonymous with streaming.
However, just because people work a day job, or have other life commitments, doesn’t mean they can’t stream. They just need to figure out what works for them.
“Most people have started their streaming career through a 9-5, and they did it on the side, and it kind of went somewhere, and then they quit, and focused on [streaming] full time," he explained.
“Most people do start part-time with streaming. Not everyone is fortunate in the world to get into the spotlight at such a young age.”
It does help to have someone to guide you through the process though. Shroud admitted that he doesn’t even know how his setup works half the time, he just has a group of people that tells him what to get to make his stream even better.
“I had a friend that when I first started streaming — he’s the one that kind of got me into it. I was watching people, and I was like ‘damn, this is sweet'," he said.
"Then my buddy, he learned about how to stream and how to do the whole setup and everything. He gave me all the info on how to do it.”
Now, for the FPS veteran streaming is as easy as clicking “Go Live” and seeing his legion of fans flock in. While he knows he’s more fortunate than the others, he still worked hard to get to where he is today.