Popular video game streamer Shroud left Twitch for Microsoft's Mixer and the Amazon-owned streaming service responded by stripping him off his verified partner badge and stopped showing his channel in the website's search results.
Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek announced on Twitter that he was going to leave Twitch in favour of Mixer, sending shockwaves through the gaming community. Grzesiek, who earned a huge fan following after streaming himself playing battle royale games like "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" and "Apex Legends," currently has 360,000 followers on Mixer, which is a far cry from his seven million followers on Twitch.
"The move to Mixer allows me to focus on what I love: gaming," Grzesiek told Newsweek. "I just want to stream for my fans and directly engage with my gaming friends and Mixer allows me to do that with more interactivity and variety." A spokesperson for Twitch said the disappearance of the former professional "Counter Strike: Global Offensive" player from the search result was due to a bug that has also affected several other streamers, though it did not reveal their identities. The streaming platform said it was working to resolve the issue, and nearly 24 hours later Grzesiek started showing up in the search results again.
This isn't the first time Twitch has showed aggression towards one of its biggest streaming personalities. In August, hours after "Fortnite" legend Tyler "Ninja" Blevins announced his departure from Twitch for Mixer, the platform revoked his partner status, started advertising other streamers on his dormant channel, and even accidentally promoted pornographic content on the channel.
The pro gamer responded by posting a video lambasting the streaming platform for its actions, prompting an apology from Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. Till date, Blevins' channel is one of the most popular on the platform, with 14.6 million followers despite his migration to Microsoft's streaming service.
Twitch has recently come under scrutiny by the community and has faced criticism over its ambiguous terms of service. While some content creators have been harshly penalized for minor infringements, others who have committed bigger violations have been let off with merely a slap on the wrist.