Earlier today, Microsoft announced its plans to shut down Mixer, the company's livestreaming service. As a result, Microsoft will attempt to transition users, partners, and streamers over to Facebook Gaming. However, it seems that two of Mixer's biggest streamers are currently keeping their options open, and might not make the jump to Facebook. According to a report from esports consultant Rod Breslau, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and Michael "Shroud" Grzesiek were offered significant contracts by Facebook, but have accepted a buyout from Microsoft, instead. This will give the two streamers freedom to sign with whichever platform they so choose, so it's possible that the two might end up back at Twitch.
As of this writing, it does not seem that either streamer has made any concrete decision regarding their future plans. Ninja briefly commented on the situation on social media, but Shroud's Twitter is notably quiet, at the moment. Ninja signed with Mixer in August of 2019, in a move that stunned the esports world. Shroud followed a few months later, in October. At the time, the two signings seemed like major wins for Microsoft's service. Now, Ninja and Shroud are both, essentially, free agents.
I love my community and what we built together on Mixer. I have some decisions to make and will be thinking about you all as I make them.— Ninja (@Ninja) June 22, 2020
Regardless of where the two end up, it seems likely that it could inspire a bidding war. According to Breslau, Ninja made approximately $30 million at Mixer, while Shroud made approximately $10 million. Given the popularity of the two, it seems likely that they could command even more from their next destination.
Sources: Facebook offered an insane offer at almost double for the original Mixer contracts of Ninja and Shroud but Loaded/Ninja/Shroud said no and forced Mixer to buy them out. Ninja made ~$30M from Mixer, and Shroud made ~$10M
Ninja and Shroud are now free agents— Rod "4475 SR & Immortal peak" Breslau (@Slasher) June 22, 2020
Of course, until Ninja and Shroud make definitive decisions, it's all just speculation. One way or the other, it should prove to be rather interesting for fans of the esports world.
Do you hope to see Ninja and Shroud back at Twitch? Did you follow the two to Mixer? Let us know in the comments or share directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!