Michael Grzesiek, also known by his online alias “Shroud”, is a Polish-Canadian streamer, esports player, and former professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) player, known for his exceptional skill and strategic gameplay.
Born on June 2, 1994, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, to Polish parents, Michael Grzesiek displayed a strong inclination towards video games from a young age. His interest in gaming grew through his teen years as he spent countless hours immersed in various games, honing his skills and building a foundation that would later catapult him to stardom in the esports world.
Grzesiek’s professional career began in 2013 when he was recruited by Exertus eSports, later known as Manajuma, due to his impressive performance in the CS: GO online community. Grzesiek embarked on his professional career in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) by playing for a number of ESEA teams, notably Exertus eSports and Manajuma.
His outstanding performance caught the attention of compLexity Gaming, who brought him on board as a stand-in player. Following the acquisition of compLexity’s roster by Cloud9 in August 2014, Grzesiek found a new home with this prominent esports organization. His big break arrived in 2014 when he joined Cloud9, one of North America’s most prominent esports organizations.
As a member of Cloud9, he played an instrumental role in several victories, making significant contributions to the team’s success at the ESL Pro League Season 4 in 2016 and the Americas Minor Championship – Columbus in 2016. Grzesiek established himself as a key player with a reputation for clutch plays, exceptional shooting accuracy, and strategic game sense.
As a key part of the team, Grzesiek played a significant role in securing a victory for Cloud9 at the ESL Pro League Season 4 in 2016. In 2017, he made the decision to transition away from the primary team lineup, instead choosing to dedicate his time to full-time streaming under the Cloud9 banner.
Grzesiek retired from professional esports in April 2018 to focus on streaming full time, leveraging his popularity on Twitch, a live-streaming platform. He quickly rose to become one of the top streamers, showcasing his skills in various games including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Apex Legends, and Valorant, among others.
Grzesiek’s popularity on Twitch grew rapidly, and on March 10, 2019, he reached a milestone of 100,000 Twitch subscribers. His following surged by an additional 14,000 subscribers the very next day, putting his subscriber count far ahead of the streamer with the second highest subscribers at the time, TimTheTatman. Despite this success, Grzesiek chose to leave Twitch in October 2019 to stream exclusively on Mixer, Microsoft’s streaming platform. This move mirrored the actions of fellow streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who had made a similar transition earlier that year.
In 2019, he surprised his fans by moving to Mixer, a Microsoft-owned platform, as part of an exclusive deal. However, after Mixer’s closure in 2020, he returned to Twitch where he has remained a top-tier streamer, regularly pulling in tens of thousands of viewers.
However, on June 22, 2020, Microsoft made the unexpected announcement that it would be closing down Mixer and forming a partnership with Facebook Gaming. It was reported that Grzesiek was offered a deal by Facebook that would have financially surpassed his agreement with Mixer. Despite the lucrative proposal, Grzesiek decided to decline the offer, instead opting to receive the remaining payment from his existing contract.
Grzesiek later announced on August 11, 2020, that he would be making a return to Twitch, streaming exclusively on the platform once again. His first stream back, which took place the following day, attracted over 516,000 concurrent viewers at its peak, further highlighting his significant influence in the streaming community.
As of 2023, Michael Grzesiek’s net worth is estimated to be around $16 million. This impressive wealth has been amassed through his successful career as a professional esports player, lucrative streaming contracts, sponsorships, and income from his popular YouTube channel, which features highlights from his streams and additional content.
Grzesiek’s list of achievements is extensive, both as a professional esports player and a streamer. Here are some highlights:
Grzesiek maintains a highly active social profile. He engages with his fans through several platforms, including Twitch, where he regularly streams, and YouTube, where he posts game highlights and other related content.