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Fragster | 15. October 2021

The Story of the Gaming Godfather: Shroud

Mr. CS:GO turned Mr. All Games for Reddit and Twitch, this man has been everywhere and done everything. From competing at the grandest stages of the biggest games to making memes with the Twitch and Reddit crowd to helping low viewership streamers grow, Shroud has simply had the Midas touch, the magic of turning gold whatever he’s ever touched.

Born in Mississauga, Canada, Shroud was born into computer games. His father was a computer nerd who built them for fun and he loved to let his young son play games; Counter-Strike the golden one. His father realized he had bred a gaming monster and let him walk the esports path. 

Early Career

Shroud started streaming in 2011. He had lost interest in CS Source but was then gifted CS:GO by a friend on Steam a year later, and that marked the start of an illustrious journey. Not the usual type of illustrious, though. A different one. A unique one. 

Though he had zero viewers for a whole year, he kept at it and was soon picked up by some amateur teams. Finally, he was picked up by compLexity as a stand-in. Soon, the COL roster would be acquired by Cloud9 in 2014, and there began Shroud’s introduction to the top-tier of CS:GO. 

C9 topped their group in Shroud’s first Major with them but lost to NiP in the playoffs. 2014 would pass without a trophy. A huge influx of S-Tier Tournaments in 2015 would see Cloud9 winning the ESL ESEA NA Qualifiers, but the bigger tournament in ESL ESEA Pro League Finals awaited him next.

That tournament would be Shroud’s debut for Cloud9 on LAN. After a flurry of great performances, C9 found themselves in the Grand Finals against fnatic. But a 3-1 comeback victory for fnatic meant Cloud9 would have to settle for second place. 

Nevertheless, it meant a lot to the NA CS scene simply because of how scarce international trophies were and how looked down the whole scene was in general. 

Shroud too started solidifying his name as one of the most talented players in the world. 

Cloud9 made it to the Grand Finals of both the next S-Tier events but faltered at the Grand Finals at both. 

2015 came to a close and the year witnessed Shroud and co. quitting the Group Stages of all 3 Majors that year and also losing 3 back-to-back Grand Finals of 3 different LANs. 

But amidst all the gloom of the competitive CS, Shroud was making a name for himself with his streaming and his ridiculous in-game highlights. These pro-CS player years would go on to pave the way for Shroud to exceed at what he really loved and wanted to do: be the godfather of casual streaming.

Mid-Career and Retirement 

2016 arrived and the Major scenes for C9 only worsened. They finished last in their group in the first Major while they did not even qualify for the second. 

Half the year had passed. Freakazoid was replaced by autimatic and Shroud relegated himself to more of a support role than the star-fragger role he had all those years. Things finally turned around in the latter half of the year, when C9 won the ESL Pro League NA Qualifiers online. 

Cloud9 seemed ready and ESL Pro League Finals was theirs for the taking. Probably the only team that stood in their way was SK Gaming, the team that had won both the Majors of the year. And indeed, C9 and SK were teamed up in the same group. SK recovered from an early defeat to NiP, and went on to top the group, trumping C9 16-6 on Dust 2 in their way. 

C9 was second and went through two easy playoffs matchups to reach the Grand Finals where their ever-eternal nemesis waited for them: SK Gaming. 

SK took the first map in overtime but C9 kept their cool and bounced back with a result that would put two-time Major winners to shame: 16-6. But that was only the start because the last, decider map was Dust 2 again. But unlike their group-stage Bo1 match, it wasn’t C9 that would lose. Instead, they would humiliate SK 16-5 on Dust2 and be crowned the champions.

ESL Pro League 2016 Finals was Shroud’s first-ever S-Tier LAN victory. Unfortunately for a player of that caliber, it would also be the last. 

Cloud9 would close 2016 out with a few more lower-tier Grand Finals appearances and conclude a fairly successful year. 

They had single-handedly given hope to the NA CS scene and proved to the world that the NA region was ready to fight for the biggest titles. 

But that train would halt in 2017 as a similar-to-2016 story would pan out for the Majors: group stage exit in one and not qualifying for the other. It was a relatively quiet period for the team where Shroud mostly groomed the youngsters in Stewie2k and autimatic to perfection. 

C9 made only one S-Tier Grand Final appearance that year. In ESL One Cologne Grand Finals, they lost 3-0 to SK. The next tournament was the Major and in August 2017, Shroud would relegate himself as a mere stand-in, essentially quitting the team. 

He soon drew the curtains on his CS:GO career and became a full-time streamer. 

His Real Game

His story seems quite similar to the many stories we know. To be talented but to not be able to enough on the biggest stage and eventually, just turn to stream for bread and soon drown into obscurity. 

But Shroud played a different game (literally). He owned the streams. He owned Twitch. He owned Reddit. He was a king, or better yet, a godfather when it came to showcase his insane abilities and to make a man chuckle. In all those years as a pro, he never stuck to CS:GO. He streamed a lot of different games and continuously grew his brand. In his years of wane, he started becoming hated by the CS:GO faithful for not concentrating enough on CS, but Shroud was more than that.

Shroud was a man who would turn into gold whatever he would touch. He played a myriad of games and seemed to be a top-tier pro on every single one of them. As 2017 came to a close, his go-to game became the ever-rising PUBG. 

Dr. Disrespect stated him as the best PUBG player in the world, simply for how absurdly good he was. 

“I’ve enjoyed PUBG so much and I’m slowly losing my passion to compete. I just wanna relax, sit here, and game.”  

And that’s what makes him special. He doesn’t do overly boisterous things like other streamers. He simply sits and plays his games without taking any stress of whether he is good or bad. Because everyone knows he is undoubtedly one of the most talented players ever, and he proves that over a variety of FPS games. 

Another layer of beauty and respect over his already decorated personality is the fact that he consistently supports small streamers.

Shroud has truly lived and enjoyed the gaming rollercoaster. He’s been everything. And despite his flirts with Mixer and Facebook Gaming, he will forever be the King of Twitch, the man whose name shall never be erased from the history of gaming.