From a Distance: Analyzing Shroud

By 9 September, 2017 No Comments

Going to start a new article series that’s called “From a Distance”. It’s when I take a look at the rise or fall of a streamer and analyze what happened, why it happened and what you can learn from it. The name “From a Distance” is there because I’m not going to interview the person in question it it’s only going to be from my perspective.

Who is Shroud?

Shroud is far from a over night success when it comes to Twitch. That’s also why I think that it should be an interesting article. Shroud is also a professional Counter Strike player. That is of course the way he got attention on his stream in the first place. While he did start as a smaller streamer (everyone does) the fact that he’s a professional Counter Strike player allowed him to get attention on him playing Counter Strike.

On top of he’s gradually perfected his streaming style (that’s something I’ll get into a bit further down). He’s also to constantly been able to stay relevant in the Counter Strike community, not only as a player, but also as someone with an opinion. Those things combined allowed Shroud to show his own personality.

What Shroud crafted was the perfect combination of skill and entertainment. Was it overnight?  Of course not. But it is still the strongest way to grow a following. Still let’s not forget that the skill in a specific game allowed people to see that personality. The skill is used as a hook and the personality is as the anchor. How did I then use this to become, on of, if not the biggest current streamer on Twitch?

From Star to Superstar

Over time Shroud was able to “cash in” on the social capital that he had cultivated from streaming Counter Strike. Again we’re not talking about an over night success in going from one game to the next and all of a sudden being the biggest streamer in that game. It still took time from when Shroud switched to playing PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS.

Of course it’s a big game you you can sort of expect that people that are already in your channel will follow you to the next and then new eyes will see it. That’s a great way of doing a transition since you’re going to get up in the listings in the game category.

Still that wasn’t the main factor to the rise. Shroud, while for sure being in the top streamers in PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS he was never at the very top or near the rest of the top streamers in that category. People like Lirik, Dr. Disrespect, Summit1G or Grimmz. They all ranked up a lot higher every time they streamed.

So what changed? It wasn’t something that changed in Shroud, it wasn’t something that changed on Twitch but rather it was the circumstances of streaming. It was stream snipers, it was the PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS stance and it was the reaction from other streamers.

Capitalizing on the Situation

While I don’t think it was a planned effort on Shroud, I also can’t say that it wasn’t a planned strategy. Nonetheless that is how we can look at it now. This is also nothing new and it’s actually something that I wrote about ~2 years ago.

It’s something as simple as being on the opposite side of something. When someone (a viewer) wants something specific from a streamer and they’re not getting it from that other streamer. It’s an easy (time/value based) decision to move to someone that does.

So when a lot of larger streamers at once spoke out against stream sniping. Shroud ignored it and played on and don’t even mind and you might even say invites that type of interaction. After all when it’s said and done it is interaction, and you might think that is right or wrong (something I’m not here to argue) but Shroud decided to see it as a part of his stream.

Once all of these things happened it was only a matter of time before those that liked or thought it was funny would try and find a place where they could see that happen. Right there and then was Shrouds Twitch channel. It had all the things they wanted, and of course he already had a following so they didn’t have to scroll down far, he also already had people stream sniping him and so on.

What can you learn from this?

The first thing is to understand that there’s always another side to the coin. You don’t have to be like every other streamer in your category. The things that you do differently is the things that others will latch on to. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, it’s important to understand that there’s way too many people that watch Twitch for there to not be an audience for what you’re doing. It’s a matter of getting attention point at what you’re doing from the right people.

You should also understand that while you might not simply be able to do an adjustment and sky rocket up. It is has more to do with eyeballs on your content. However there’s more than “already popular” ways to get those eyeballs. Being at the right place at the right time takes effort. It’s not only accidentally showing up. As with Shroud it was hard work to get to the skill level of a Counter Strike professional, it took time and skill to get to the top of Counter Strike streamers, and it took time and effort to start grinding out PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. Along that time there were also smaller decisions that brought it all together. Since then I’ve seen Shroud go up to 27.000 viewers outdoing both Lirik and Summit1G, that were both streaming the same game at the same time.

A bit late on this weeks article. Had a few things that I needed to finish up but now that’s done and I’m looking forward to the next challenges.

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