Playing video games for long hours has, in recent times, become more than just a way of whiling away time. Video game enthusiasts have made a career of it, and Shroud is one of the most successful at it. The online gamer and media personality is famous for playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Call of Duty Black Ops 4: Blackout.
His kind of job may sound easy but do not be fooled. It has taken a lot of hours, mistakes, and dedication to making him one of the most popular gamers in the world. In return, he has made a lot of money as millions tune into his channels to watch him showcase his video game artistry.
Shroud Began His Career as a CS: GO Pro-Gamer
Born on June 2, 1994, in Toronto, Michael Grzesiek, aka, Shroud, had an early start to his professional gaming career. He was just 19 when he got signed to Slow Motion, an e-Sports team in the E-sports Entertainment League in 2013. It was a result of hard work and skill built over years of playing video games since he was a child.
He played the multiplayer FPS game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for the team, and spent a few months before he moved to Extertus eSports. In the same year, he joined Manajuma and compLexity Gaming. He was a stand-in player for the latter before acquisition by Cloud9 in August 2019 made him a player of the prominent e-Sports team.
Under Cloud9, he took up more responsibilities, and his prominence grew. In 2016, Shroud led Cloud9 to a first-place finish in the fourth season of the ESL Pro League, and a second-place finish in ESL One Cologne 2017. By this time, Shroud was a popular figure among online gaming fans who trooped to his channel on YouTube to watch him play.
With an independent gaming career becoming more attractive, he announced his exit as a member of Cloud9’s active roster in August 2017. Eight months after, on April 18, 2018, he left the e-Sports team entirely and retired from professional CS: GO.
Twitch and YouTube Streaming Made Him a Global Star
While he was a professional Counter-Strike player, Shroud created his YouTube channel, Shroud. As he started streaming online, he did not get enough attention in the medium until he became a full-time streamer in 2018. In 2017, when Shroud became a non-active player for Cloud9, he had 100,000 subscribers, which was impressive at the time.
By the time he retired entirely from professional gaming, Shroud’s subscriber base had grown to one million. As of August 2020, a little over two years after he transitioned to full-time streaming, he has amassed more than 6.4 million subscribers, with over 736 million views.
But despite his impressive numbers on YouTube, it is on Twitch that Shroud really established himself as one of the world’s biggest streamers. Less than a year after becoming a full-time steamer, he reached 100,000 Twitch subscribers, on March 10, 2019.
News of the milestone earned him another 14,000 on the next day, doubling the subscriber base of the second highest streamer at the time, TimTheTatman. His rapid growth on Twitch made him a toast of the video game world, expanding his popularity beyond Twitch viewers. Shroud received coverage from various news outlets over his influence on the emerging industry.
A Temporary Break from Twitch made Him even more Popular
In October 2019, he made a brief switch to then owned Microsoft Mixer, a Twitch competitor. The deal made him an exclusive player on the platform. When Mixer shutdown in June 2020 following a merge with Facebook Gaming, Shroud left the app.
When he made a long-awaited return to Twitch on August 11, 2020, he returned to even bigger success. As of September 2020, he has more than 8.22 million followers and has recorded more than 386 million views on the platform.
He lost most of his subscribers after his initial departure from Twitch. Nevertheless, he currently has over 29 thousand subscribers, after gaining 14,000 when he announced his return to the platform. More than 500,000 people watched his first video after the announcement.
Shroud has leveraged his popularity to attract followers on other social media outlets too. On Instagram, he has more than 1.6 million followers and more than 1.7 million Twitter followers. The professional streamer has been able to build his large following from playing a diversified array of games like CS: GO, GTA V, Apex Legends, Minecraft, and more.
Shroud has a Net Worth of $12 Million
As a professional player for Cloud9, Shroud helped his team win more than $598 thousand in prize money between 2015 and 2017. And while he earned a fraction of that income as a contracted member of the team, he has made more as an independent streamer.
His YouTube subscriber and viewership base earns him $6.1k on a minimum and $97.7k at a maximum per month in ad revenue. This adds up to $1.2 million per year for the Canadian streamer. On Twitch, where he has monetized his page, he made up to $3 per subscriber when he had over 100,000 subscribers. His exit led to a significant decrease in his subscription base. However, an exclusive deal with Twitch means he still makes a substantial amount on every subscriber.
At his peak, Shroud earned at least $150,000 per month of subscription revenue. He also makes money via Twitch’s tip and Cheering feature. His temporary departure from Twitch for an exclusive deal with Mixer also earned him $10 million, which he reportedly earned in full despite the app’s shutdown.
Aside from income earned through ads and subscriptions, Shroud’s popularity has also brought income via sponsorships. He has signed deals with gaming brands like HyperX and J!nx as well as other brands like OnePlus, Postmates, and Madrinas Coffee.
Additionally, Shroud has received sponsorship from gaming companies like PUGB Corporation and Ubisoft, in exchange for him to play their games. All these sources of income have earned the Canadian streamer an estimated net worth of $12 million.
What does He Spend His Money On?
Undoubtedly, someone of Shroud’s level of income would have a big investment in the stock market and other passive income streams. However, while the extent of his portfolio remains unknown, we do know some of that $12 million net worth goes into acquiring efficient and luxurious gaming apparatus.
Shroud uses a BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 240Hz monitor with a wireless Logitech G Pro Ghost gaming mouse. He uses an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080Ti graphics card, and his computer system has a Gigabyte X299 Designare EX motherboard with a 128GB Corsair Vengeance RBP Pro RAM.
He also has a Logitech G Pro X headset and Herman Miller Aeron office chair. There is also an HD Pro C920 webcam, and he records with a Shure SM7B microphone. This set up would cost $7,000 on the open market.
Shroud also spends his money on housing. He moved to his current home in Orange County, California, in January 2019. The Canadian streamer shared the house with a fellow streamer, Justin Ortiz. However, as of September 2020, he has made mention of his interest in switching homes for something better.
Shroud has been in two Known Relationships
Since Shroud became a popular figure, there has been as much interest in his love life as his work. Over the years, he has notably dated two women, Jessica Rago and his current girlfriend, Hannah Kennedy.
Jessica Rago (Unknown – January 2019)
We are not sure when Jessica Rago and Shroud became a couple, but she was his partner during his rise to fame. Jessica is an Asian-American lady born to a father who worked in the military. She graduated from the University of Georgia and has been working in the gaming industry for years.
Jessica and Shroud reportedly met while she was working for the gaming accessories brand, HyperX, and built their relationship. When they were a couple, they regularly engaged in online PDA, with tweets and Instagram posts revealing their affection for each other. They also owned two dogs, Troy and Miso, both of whom are now in Jessica’s custody following their breakup.
Wouldn't normally like to make this sort of stuff public, but since we were public it's hard not to. pic.twitter.com/bqslpyWiHH
— Jessica (@Dacchei) January 14, 2019
She announced their breakup in a tweet in January 2019. According to the tweet, they parted ways because their lives headed in different directions, and they chose to respect that. The amicable breakup was appreciated in a community known for its often-dramatic romantic endings.
Hannah Kennedy (April 2019 – Present)
Shroud was not single for long before he was back in another serious relationship. This time, with a fellow gamer, Hannah Kennedy, popularly known as Bnans. The two reportedly began their relationship in April 2019 and have been going strong ever since.
Although not as famous as Shroud, certainly not in terms of his streaming numbers, she is a successful streamer with sponsorship deals with Logitech. The two of them have combined their shared interest and passion for content. They regularly pair up for challenges on Twitch.
Shroud and Bnans live together and appear to be enjoying life together as a couple. For fans of Shroud, the relationship is most welcomed, and like the couple, they hope it lasts.