Is Microsoft trying to undermine Twitch by buying all the big-name streamers?

(Image credit: Shroud / Microsoft)

Microsoft has persuaded another big-name streamer to leave Twitch and come into the Mixer fold, with Shroud making the move, following Ninja doing so back in August.

Both of these highly-followed game streamers are now exclusive to the Mixer platform, and so that begs the question: are more to follow?

As to what sort of deal Microsoft may have given Shroud – real name Michael Grzesiek – and how much of a financial incentive was contained therein isn’t clear, and unsurprisingly no specific details were offered.

Shroud told CNN Business: “The move to Mixer allows me to focus on what I love: gaming. It allows me to focus on livestreaming for my fans and directly engage with more interactivity and variety.

Grzesiek also had a suitably over-the-top (while tongue-in-cheek) video to unleash on Twitter, making it clear where his new home is.

Clearly, then, Microsoft is serious about buying up talent to promote Mixer, with the obvious hope that it will start to gain ground on Twitch.

Mixer fixers?

Right now, though, Mixer is still way behind Twitch, despite Ninja’s presence – although admittedly it’s still very early days. According to stats compiled by Stream Elements, in Q3 2019, Mixer captured only 3.2% of the live streaming market, compared to Twitch’s dominant 75.6%.

However, Mixer is up 0.2% on the previous quarter following Ninja joining the ranks, and Microsoft’s service did get a lot of media coverage to boot.

And obviously with Shroud following, Mixer is going to get even more of a profile bump. If another couple of big-name players can be recruited to Mixer, we could well see these small increments turning into a larger defection of viewers.

Shroud was a professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player, and now commonly streams battle royale games such as PUBG and Apex Legends, or other shooters – and even dabbled with World of Warcraft Classic in recent times.

If you hop over to mixer, you can currently get a free subscription to Shroud’s channel – just click the ‘claim’ button that pops up at the top of the screen. However, that subscription will only last for an initial month, or slightly less in fact, running out on November 22.

So, if you’ve never followed Shroud before, now’s as good a time as any to give it a whirl…

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).