The mega streamer and one of Twitch’s most recognizable personalities, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, has officially signed a contract with Sentinels to play on their VALORANT roster.
The clout fiesta surrounding VALORANT's most clouted franchise has seemingly just begun. The mega streamer and one of Twitch's most recognizable personalities, Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek, has officially signed a contract with Sentinels to play on their VALORANT roster.
The former CS:GO professional for Cloud9 and one of the most lucrative variety streamers is dipping back into the esports scene. The move coincides with Hunter "SicK" Mims taking an extended leave and Sentinels needing to fill his spot for the Last Chance Qualifier. Shroud will enter the team as their main Controller player. He will bring a world of outside interest from his massive fan base.
Shroud filling for Sentinels only during LCQ
"I'm back, baby"
Moreover, Shroud went on his stream after the announcement clarifying that he will only be filling in for Last Chance Qualifiers in August. The move doesn't appear to have long term implications on the Sentinels roster. But he did confirm he would play at Champions if Sentinels qualify. The move could indicate more changes in the future depending on their LCQ results, with Shahzeb "ShahZam" Khan's future still uncertain.
Either way, the VALORANT scene is going to get a serious boost of outside interest. The Sentinels LCQ matches now become must-see television, despite entering the event with plenty of uncertainty. Shroud, who entertains millions of people each year on his personal stream, will provide a level of clout we haven't seen since Tyson "TenZ" Ngo took the world by storm.
Shortly after the SicK announcement, speculation ran rampant with fans pointing to Masters Berlin MVP, Ayaz "nAts" Akhmetshi, as a possible replacement. The amount of unfounded speculation and rumors around the new Sentinels fifth were wild. Yet, no one had the slightest inclination that Shroud, a streamer who seemingly loved the streaming lifestyle, would jump back into the competitive landscape to compete at the highest level.
Shroud Signing good for Franchising
Regardless of their actual quality of play, Sentinels bringing in a globally recognized personality builds the brand image. In the evaluation period for Riot's upcoming partner system, signing Shroud raises the profile of Sentinels dramatically. It will bring eyes and attention to their organization which might ultimately prove to be more fruitful than simply winning games and qualifying.
Nonetheless, the move on paper doesn't make much logical sense in terms of competition. Shroud is 28 years old and hasn't played professionally in years. On his stream, he occasionally has played VALORANT, but it was never a top priority for him. He's on record saying that jumping back into competing means less time for him to play a variety of titles. It essentially takes away from his career aspirations as a full-time streamer.
There's no official date set for the North American LCQ, but it will take place in August.