Shroud is a well-known Polish-Canadian Twitch streamer, and a former professional gamer who started his career early, as mostly all professional gamers do, gravitating to video games and computers. We’ve gathered all the available information about Shroud’s life, career and net worth, so let’s get into it.
Early life, family, education
Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek was born on 2 June 1994, in Mississauga, Ontario Canada, coming from a family of Polish descent. When a child, he lived with his father who built computers obsessively, and introduced Shroud to the games, firstly to “Counter Strike” just because his father adored this game. He took little Michael onto his lap and showed him how he played and even let his son do whatever he liked with the computer or the game he was playing. Nothing in particular is known about his mother – Shroud hasn’t revealed her name, age or occupation. There’s no information on his siblings either, or other relatives.
Living in Mississauga, Shroud attended high school from which he matriculated in 2012 – there are no details about the name of the school he studied in, and nothing is known about his college, if he attended one, but since his career started early, he probably didn’t graduate any college or university, devoting all his time to professional gaming.
Shroud started his career early, being a 20-year-old guy who dreamt of a professional gamer’s life. He was good at such games as “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4”,“Apex Legends”, and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive”, and his skills granted him a place in the eSports team Exertus, before he joined another team, Manajuma. He kept on improving his gaming skills and was soon noticed by CompLexity Gaming, a respected professional eSports organization founded in 2003 in the US, which competes in “CS:GO”, “Call of Duty”, “Hearthstone”, etc. Being acquired by CompLexity Gaming, he replaced another gamer, Todd “Anger” Williams, since Shroud was way better in his gaming technics, being famous for his clutching and lurking abilities and for his weapon accuracy. When CompLexity Gaming acquired Cloud9 team, Shroud signed a contract with Cloud9 and became a permanent player there on 1 August 2014.
Shroud failed to show his best form in his first major tournament, ESL One Cologne in 2014, holding the place between the 5th and the 8th line, but soon he caught the wave, and started winning contests. A famous eSports analyst and commentator, and also a former professional CS player – Jason “OnFireMoses” O’Toole once shared his thoughts: “Cloud 9 looked at Shroud and they saw potential. They liked his decision making, they liked his positioning, and said: “Ok, if we can develop this guy, if we give him more experience <…> frags will come”. Frags aren’t the issue for them. They saw how stellar his aim was, how pinpoint and precise he was”. Thus, he was the first in ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1 (North America) in 2015, when his group won $18,000; then he was the runner-up in the global finals of ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1, getting $60,000 as a prize. He finished the gaming year of 2015 with another win on iBUYPOWER Cup, getting $65,000.
The beginning of 2016 was not that kind to Shroud, since he lost two tournaments in the Premier tier, holding low positions in the finals of Esports Championship Series Season 1 and ELEAGUE Season 1, though the prizes his team won even at low ranks were impressive: $65,000 and $50,000 respectively. Later, Shroud made a comeback, hitting the fist lines in DreamHack Open Bucharest 2016, winning $20,000 as a solo player, and ESL Pro League Season 4, where his team won an impressive sum of $200,000.
Shroud stayed in Cloud9 for several months more, attending the Americas Minor Championship in Kraków in 2017, being the first there. Alongside his long-time teammate Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert, Shroud was benched and then replaced by William “RUSH” Wierzba in August 2017. Within half a year Shroud decided to retire from professional gaming, hoping to find new opportunities outside Cloud9. He messaged Jack (the owner of Cloud9) and told him he would love to be their guys’ backup, but he wanted to see where his full-time stream took him. He later admitted that he just felt that it was the time for him to go, since the PUBG was coming out and he enjoyed the game very much, also that he felt he was losing the passion to compete. He said: “I just want to relax, sit here, and game”.
Shroud moved to Orange County, California and decided to start streaming such popular games as PUBG (“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds”), “Apex Legends”, “Fortnite”, and more. Few of his fans know that Shroud started streaming back in 2011, though for the whole year his channel has only one viewer – himself. It took Shroud a long time to become a streamer with millions of followers, but was inspired by the success of another popular streamer, Summit1G. The number of his followers on Twitch, as well as on YouTube, increased as soon as Shroud achieved his first wins in his professional “CS:GO” career. He later faced with the audience’s critiques for his playing other games on Twitch; people complained that he should do more practicing in “CS:GO” so he and his team could take higher ranks in tournaments, but Shroud never cared for other people’s opinions, and kept on doing what he wanted. He supported the popularity of his Twitch channel effectively, inviting such celebrity gamers as Tyler “Ninja” Blevin to his live stream. By August 2017, Shroud had 7,500 subscribers to his Twitch channel, and felt grateful for everyone who supported him. What makes him so special on Twitch is that he never uses any kind of entertainment or fake shows to attract an audience, only his gaming skill, and it made lots of people respect him as an honest player and Twitcher.
Shroud is loved by his fans also because of his consistent support of small streamers. He’s found a special way of building content out of helping people. He likes to pick a random streamer from a random game and host his stream on his channel. Once he picked a young woman, who was a musician, had diabetis and a five-year-old daughter and encouraged his viewers to help her, saying she needed their help to pay the bills; while her weekly goal was to earn $250 on her stream, in several minutes she got more than $2500, with her chat exploding with the “You’ve got a new subscriber” alerts.
— Michael Grzesiek (@shroud) March 31, 2019
Ex-girlfriend Jessica Rago
Shroud’s fans followed the updates on his relationship with Jessica Rago; they were a couple for a long time, but decided to break up, which made their fans wonder about the reason for the sudden end to their love-story, though Jessica announced on her Twitter that they broke up on good terms.
Looking back at Jessica’s life, one can find out she’s of half-Korean, 1/4 Irish, and 1/4 Italian descent. She was born on 17 January 1990, and she still has very close relationships with her parents. She has a sibling, Janice Rago, who is a painter, who she posts her arts on her Facebook page and on her Instagram. Jessica lived in Europe with her family for 10 years, spending at least six years in Germany, but when Jessica was 12 years old, her family moved back to the US, in 2012.
Jessica is an alumni of the University of Georgia, graduating with a BA in Linguistics. She also had a chance to study at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, but she admitted that she didn’t have either time or money to finish the program there. She worked part-time as an English teacher in the Korea Poly School in 2012, and then in an elementary school until 2014. Later she studied Global eSports Management in Seoul for several months. She now lives in Fountain Valley, California. She worked at HyperX, the premier gaming accessories brand, for three years, where Shroud used to be the brand ambassador, showing herself as a hard worker and went the way from an SMM specialist to an eSports specialist, and later became a manager in the field of eSports marketing, but then quit the company in 2018. Now she works for Loaded.gg as a talent manager.
When Shroud and Jessica lived together, they took care of two dogs: Troy (a German shepherd and Siberian husky mix) and Miso (a Jindo). The viewers of Shroud’s Twitch channel adored Troy, and always reacted positively when he appeared in the background. For now the couple decided that Jessica is going to take care of both dogs since she has much more time and opportunity for that.
Jessica shared the news about the break-up with Shroud via her Twitter account which has more than 28,000 readers. She admitted that she would rather leave it private, but since they were public people, she couldn’t but share the news. Earlier she complained she and Shroud didn’t have much time to spend together. She posted a photo from their date commenting that she was going to stop life making them too busy, as they hadn’t had a date for months. She’s still very active on Instagram, sharing the photos of her travellings and her dogs.
Shroud has light-brown eyes and dark-brown hair. He is 5ft 6ins (1.68m) tall, and his weight is around 143lbs (65kgs). His other vital statistics are not available.
Shroud’s net worth comes from his income from the various platforms that he has his channels or accounts on. Thus, he earns around $100,000 per month only from his subscribers on Twitch, having almost six million followers. At his main YouTube account he has more than four million followers, and the other YouTube channel where he shares his personal funny gaming moments has around 450,000 followers. He’s also active on Instagram, where he has more than a million followers, and on Twitter, where he has almost a million readers. Shroud’s overall net worth is authoritatively estimated at over $4 million, as of early 2019, which would seem very likely to grow, assuming that he continues his career successfully, holding the fourth place at Twitch by the number of his followers.