Michael Grzesiek, better known as Shroud, was surpassed for most-followed Twitch channel in March by an account advertising an online casino. The account seems to be linked to another suspicious channel that was removed from the streaming platform back in December.
The casino account, named Novat0r_Konb, placed ahead of Shroud on Twitch's Fastest Growing Streamers list for March 2019 by over 100,000 followers, which seems strange when you consider that the channel has only made one 40-minute long stream in the past 30 days. The stream only received 3,000 views, yet Novat0r_Konb has already gained 430,000 followers since the beginning of March.
Last December, another account was removed from Twitch under similar circumstances. A channel named Slot V, which appeared to be advertising an online casino, beat Ninja and Tfue as the most followed channel December 2018. Just like Novat0r_Konb, the channel gained 430,000 followers over 30 days despite only streaming once since the beginning of the month.
Even more suspicious is the fact that Slot V and Novat0r_Konb share the same profile picture, which is clearly advertising an online casino.
Just like Slot V, Novat0r_Konb has been removed from Twitch for botting fake viewers and followers. It seems like both channels were advertising ploys for Slot V, an online Russian casino. The casino's choice of advertising platform seems questionable since the majority of Twitch's users are from the United States, and the casino is not available in this country.
Shroud was previously known for professionally playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but has become exponentially more popular on Twitch since the release of Apex Legends. The beginning of March saw him pass the 100,000 subscriber mark, and he has since reached almost 400,000. Since Novat0r_Konb has been removed from the streaming platform, Shroud will probably become the most-followed account for the month of March.
Viewbotting and followerbotting are both against Twitch's terms of service, but the practice is used by many accounts that are trying to use Twitch to advertise their sites. Bots are also used by many streamers who are trying to gain popularity on the platform, but Twitch is typically very active in removing these channels, and has even taken legal action against bot makers. In 2016, the company sued the seven most prolific bot-makers for a collective $1.4 million.