Streaming star Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek has finally broken his social media silence with a cryptic Valorant tweet, more than a month after Microsoft paid out his exclusive Mixer contract ahead of the platform’s shutdown.
The six-second GIF teaser posted on July 30 — 38 days after Grzesiek’s last tweet — shows an animated gun graphic. The blue-washed steel weapon’s trigger is pulled, before it fires a bullet to the left of the screen.
The most interesting part of the teaser comes just two seconds in. Short flashes of Valorant gameplay footage can be seen on the barrel of the gun. This includes a clear shot of Omen, one of the title’s original release agents.
The footage flashes begin with a short snippet showing someone firing with an Operator, Valorant's AWP equivalent. The in-clip teaser then finishes with some kind of explosion, though it’s not clear what’s causing the detonation.
— Michael Grzesiek (@shroud) July 31, 2020
The gun itself does evoke Escape From Tarkov, another title shroud had been regularly playing on-stream before Mixer's shutdown. Battlestate's hardcore FPS title has been going from strength to strength in recent times, partly thanks to shroud's support.
Shroud himself didn’t include any comment with the teaser; he has not yet made it clear when he will release a statement on his future. The last time he addressed the situation was on June 23, when he said he was “figuring out [his] next steps.”
The teaser, of course, set chins wagging almost immediately. One theory that sprung up was that the retired CSGO pro was finally making good on his recent April Fool’s prank, where he pretended he was “going pro in Valorant” because he missed competitive play.
Others were more simple; he had “pulled the trigger” on a return deal with Twitch. That would mean references to Riot’s FPS title, and possibly Escape from Tarkov, were only included in because he had been playing both a lot in the past few months.
A return to the Amazon-owned platform makes sense — he still boasts 7.1 million followers — but the teaser offered no specific clues on that front. Similarly, YouTube streaming popped up as a suggestion nearly immediately.
Shroud’s fans made a few more humorous suggestions too, including the possibility the 'human aimbot' had “killed DrDisrespect”. While it certainly would provide a good reason for the Doc’s disappearance, that one is definitely not true.
Shroud jumped ship from Twitch to Mixer in late November 2019, after inking an exclusive deal reportedly worth up to $13 million per year. The former CSGO pro had to honor the Mixer deal for less than a year, however, after the platform shut its doors in July.
Grzesiek reportedly walked away with a full payout for his three-year deal, and turned down a move to Facebook Gaming. He, along with fellow Mixer star Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins, have yet to confirm their next platform of choice.