Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek, the popular livestreamer that recently joined Sentinels’ professional Valorant roster, has said he is keen to keep competing next year in the 2023 VCT when Valorant shifts to its franchise-style model – but only if certain conditions are met.
Despite being one of the world’s biggest streamers, shroud recently revitalised his esports career by joining Sentinels. While he’s had plenty of past competitive experience (mainly in Counter-Strike), few thought that shroud would ever return to the very top of the pro scene. Yet here he is, gearing up for the North America Last Chance Qualifier, where Sentinels will aim to secure for a spot at Valorant Champions in Istanbul, Turkey this September.
Although shroud’s skills are clearly evident, some have perceived Sentinels’ signing of shroud as a bit of a publicity stunt – a deal that would more than likely expire come the end of the 2022 season. However, speaking on a recent livestream, the 28-year-old says that he’s more than ready to keep competing in top-level Valorant next year, but there will be certain factors he would need to consider.
“If franchising is a thing, and it’s in LA, which is where I live, there’s a very good chance that I will continue to play professional Valorant,” shroud says. “Is it with Sentinels? I don’t know, are they in franchising?” he adds, alluding to the fact that while the application process for the three new franchise-style VCT leagues is underway, Riot is yet to confirm which organisations have been successful in their bids. It is widely predicted though that Sentinels will be one of the organisations that gets a franchise spot.
While it’s clear that shroud has a few conditions, it’s clear that he’s ready and passionate about still competing in Valorant esports. Later in the stream, he admits that it would be “amazing” if franchised Valorant has weekly matches in a LAN environment, similar to Riot’s franchised League of Legends leagues like the LCS or LEC.
“There’s something about franchising and playing each week on LAN [that] sounds amazing, don’t you think?” shroud says. “Like fuck online matches, you’re just playing in person.”
shroud admits that he “doesn’t know what their [Riot’s] plans are” for franchising, and that his idea of weekly LAN matchups is just speculation at this point, but his theory is certainly a credible and likely one.
With shroud sounding this keen to compete in the 2023 VCT, his fans will be hoping that Riot does go down a similar root to the LCS by hosting regular LAN action in LA.