Michael “shroud” Grzesiek dropped a bomb on his stream when he confirmed his participation in the Valorant Champions Tour.
The streamer and former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro player is one of the most popular personalities on Twitch. His last professional CSGO match was at CSGO’s PGL Major Kraków in 2017. He is most likely competing in the open qualifiers for Valorant Champions Tour: North America Stage 3 Challengers 2. That event will be on July 22. shroud’s teammates for the event are not confirmed.
The full-time streamer and former CSGO professional casually made the announcement during a restream of IEM Cologne. He was discussing the pressure he faced during his time as a CSGO pro and mysteriously related it to his current feelings. That mystery was instantly solved when shroud revealed that he would play in the Valorant Champions Tour.
“I mean I am playing in the VCT. That’ll be kinda fun. We’re gonna get owned, but hey. Whatever,” shroud said.
The streaming star has hinted at returning to competition before, but has never confirmed anything until now. shroud has competed across several shooter games since retiring from CSGO, including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Rainbow Six Siege, and Call of Duty: Blackout.
This won’t be shroud’s first competitive foray in Valorant. shroud placed second at GlitchCon 2020 Super Team Showdown near to the game’s original release date. Valorant is also a regular pick for his streams, and is popular with shroud’s fans.
shroud played professional CSGO from 2014 to 2017. Esports wasn’t quite as big in the mid-2010s. Tournaments didn’t have as many viewers, which made it more difficult to court sponsors and provide big prize pools.
shroud earned $114,250 in prize money in 2016, his most lucrative year by far. While that’s certainly a lot of money, famous gamers like shroud can earn a lot more with much less pressure by streaming. Even back then, streamers made just as much, if not way more, than professional esports players. shroud first began streaming on Twitch in 2016 before straeming full-time in late 2017. Considering shroud’s net worth is estimated at over $20 million today, the transition definitely paid off.