Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek is the latest streamer to announce a move from Twitch to Mixer, and the second big name to be picked up by Microsoft following their signing of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins on August 1 of this year. The move may have surprised some of his viewers, but there are many reasons why it was likely a great transition for Shroud.
For starters, there is a connection between the two streamers that certainly helped streamline the process, and that is that both Shroud and Ninja are represented by Loaded, a management company founded by Bandon Freytag. This means that discussions about a potential move have been in play for longer than we know, and Shroud must have acquired a signing bonus from Microsoft for making the exclusive deal with Mixer.
Mixer Offers Better Features Than Twitch
Beyond an initial signing bonus, Mixer offers a broader range of features than Twitch. At the end of the day, that itself is worth considering as a streamer. Maximizing engagement with viewers is a necessary part of being successful on either platform.
The Hypezone is another feature of Mixer’s that is gaining a lot of attention. The channel automatically moves between the final moments of popular games and their matches like Apex Legends and Fortnite, which shows viewers only the most exciting parts of a game. Watching an entire match can be enjoyable as well, but for those who prefer action, the Hypezone is like a 24/7 highlight show in real time.
Finally, the viewer XP system is better on Mixer, flat out. Twitch has an interesting take on their XP system to unlock emotes but advancing is mainly tied to how much money is spent overall. Mixer instead rewards XP simply for watching content without tying rewards to spending.
Twitch’s Controversial Bans Are A Problem For All Streamers
A major problem for streamers is that potential to be banned. There are plenty of legitimate reasons that this may occur, but over the past year Twitch’s reputation has been marred thanks to its wildly inconsistent bans. At its core, Twitch has guidelines in place that should prevent this kind of issue, but moderation and discipline seem to be dealt on a case by case basis. Rules for thee but not for me often seems to be the case, and streamers are right to consider moving to other platforms to ensure the safety of their livelihoods.
Some of the more recent ridiculous cases include streamer Viperous, who received a seven day ban for using the word “nerd” in her stream. This is a word that has no negative connotation to it whatsoever, and something she is known to say playfully when killed by an opponent in the games she plays.
The problem was that the term was reported as a racial slur, though it clearly is not what she said and has been verified through clips of the stream. Not only did she receive a ban, her subscribers were refunded their subscriptions. That hurts Viperous’ bottom line, despite having done nothing wrong.
Twitch also has been in hot water for the way it treats its women streamers and how they dress. By far the worst example of this occurred September of this year when popular Overwatch streamer Fareeha was issued a warning for wearing inappropriate clothing on stream. The clothing in question workout clothing, what any woman would wear to a gym, and chosen because it was comfortable during a long gaming session.
There are many other cases to point to regarding the lack of consistent moderation of Twitch’s guidelines, and any would be reason enough for a streamer to reconsider where they work to build up their careers.
Shroud Faces Initial Criticism, But The Move Is Great For The Long Run
Shroud stated that he faced some criticism when he moved from Twitch over to Mixer. However, he considers the voices of his supports to be far more important, and those are the responses he is listening to instead. At the time of the move, Shroud was the second most viewed streamer on the platform, and there is no doubt that his success will continue wherever he chooses to go.
What will be fascinating to see is who else moves in the near future. Twitch has taken proactive steps to try and retain some of its top streamers. These include things like signing Nick “Nickmercs” Kolcheff, one of the most popular Fortnite streamers and a member of FaZe Clan exclusively to their platform. Like it or hate it, Shroud is not the last streamer to announce an exclusive deal with one platform or another.