Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek brought much-needed views and recognition to VALORANT esports with VCT co-streams.
Despite being less than a year old, the title is becoming a force on Twitch, becoming in the fifth most-viewed game last year with more than 814 million hours watched, Twitch tracking site SullyGnome reported. With the esports side growing and developing, a similar concept, co-stream, is boosting its competitive viewership.
Riot Games used co-streams for the first time back in 2018 with League of Legends and the practice has increased the numbers for the LCS and LEC. There is no official program available for the emerging VALORANT scene, however, several popular streamers including Team Liquid’s Average Jonas and TSM’s Myth have already hosted watch-alongs.
These streamers offer different twists and flavors to their respective co-streams while garnering more views and eyes on VALORANT esports. Shroud recently began co-streaming the VALORANT Champions Tour with more than a whopping one million total views on each of his broadcasts so far. Touted as one of the most iconic competitive FPS players ever, it is hardly surprising that Shroud’s entry is proving to be a boon to the game.
Each of Shroud’s VCT co-streams reached more than one million total viewers, more than any other co-streamer. More people were watching his streams than the official broadcasts and he had nearly quadruple the total number of viewers that Nerd Street Gamers received.
Much to the NSG’s relief, Shroud’s streams did not steal their viewership, instead, they just added to the VALORANT numbers. During the NA Challengers One open qualifier, NSG’s average total viewers per broadcast was 199,000, and the total rose to 225,000 during the open qualifiers for Challengers Two, meaning, Shroud’s watch parties were not damaging the mainstream.
LCS or LEC co-streamer struggle to even come close to the viewership numbers on the official streams, while Shroud is not just matching the numbers, he is exceeding them for these VALORANT streams by a significant margin. His watch parties are providing a huge boost to the number of eyes on VALORANT esports.
Shroud Brings Expertise and Knowledge
After retiring from CS:GO, Shroud hasn’t shown any desire to play the game and if you search for the game in his broadcast catalog, it shows no results. There’s a lot of VALORANT, though and he hasn’t shied away from revealing why he prefers it over CS:GO.
Aside from providing a statistical multiplier, Shroud offers a wealth of knowledge as far as analysis is concerned. His insight encompasses a wide range of topics including why certain plays and buys are smart. He even explains why teams pick and play on Icebox in an easy-to-understand manner.
Shroud is not just using this opportunity to educate viewers but is genuinely happy to see former teammates like Timothy “autimatic” Ta and Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, competing on the servers. The exit of former NA CS:GO pros to VALORANT has proved to be a huge boon to the game’s first year and Shroud becoming the bigger part of it has the most perk of all.
Shroud’s first wave of VALORANT co-streams gave the VALORANT Champions Tour a major boost. More of these watch parties from the legendary streamer means more views and more eyes on the product.
Aside from that, it opens the door for more exciting opportunities. If Riot Games decides to bring VALORANT esports production in-house, the company will fancy having an analyst desk. Shroud is the best fit for the position, given his ability to draw massive viewership and his competitive intelligence.