If you play first-person shooters and look around a bit on the internet or Twitch.tv, you will eventually come across the name “Shroud”. With so many fans, articles, and positive opinions about him, one could conclude that this is the world’s best computer player. But is that the case?
There are no factors or metrics by which players can be measured across different genres and games within a genre. Every game is different. Different genres require different skills. Shroud is undoubtedly one of the best first-person shooter players in the world.
But why should he not be the very best gamer, you ask yourself. So let’s ask a few follow-up questions first.
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Is Shroud the Best Player in the World?
What values do we want to evaluate to determine the best gamer in the world?
Who won the most tournaments? Who won the biggest tournament? Who made the most revenue in the career incl. Sponsorship money, advertising revenue, etc.? Maybe there is also the best player outside of professional gaming?
You realize we’re not talking about a classic sport like basketball, where you can compare free throw percentage and championship rings.
So how do we determine the best gamer?
It will disappoint you a bit, but this question gets the same answer as the question “Who is the best athlete in the world?”
We can’t compare gamers from different genres.
Provocative question: Who is the better player, Lionel Messi, named the best soccer player in the world six times, or Scott Dixon, who has won the Indycar Series 6 times?
One kicks a ball safely for an audience of millions. The other drives a risky 190 mph in circles.
You can compare neither the sport nor the achievements in these sports.
You could say absolutely: who made the most money?
But isn’t that a bit too short-sighted? What does that say about skill in the sport? Nothing. It instead says something about whether you can market yourself well.
So let’s keep in mind that Shroud could be the best player in the world, but we can’t judge that in any way.
Let’s cut the cake into smaller pieces.
Is Shroud the Best FPS Player in the World?
Shroud has become known for spectacular gameplay scenes in CSGO. He is also credited with godlike aiming, although he says that others have better mechanics.
He has shown again and again that he can perform at his best under the highest pressure. Nevertheless, his critics complain that he has not measured himself against the international scene. The duels with European teams, in particular, were too rare to make a comparison.
After his professional career, Shroud dedicated himself to full-time streaming. His main game for a long time was the then newly released PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
Here, too, he stood out from the crowd with incredible moves.
He quickly became one of the biggest streamers on Twitch. His income – compared to his professional career – has thus indeed increased many times over.
With Apex Legends, Escape from Tarkov, Fortnite, and other FPS games, Shroud has shown time and again that he can pick up a new game exceptionally quickly.
His natural talent for mechanics and game sense automatically ensure that he is at the highest skill levels in any first-person shooter. But is that enough?
So could it be said that Shroud is the best player in the FPS genre?
I would say yes if you could determine some “FPS IQ.” If all FPS players played all available FPS games in parallel and evaluated the statistics, Shroud would probably be number 1.
Stupidly, no one does that. We don’t have the statistics either – so all kidding aside, again, we can’t give Shroud the title.
But what if we restrict it to his main game?
Is Shroud the Best PUBG Player?
If we look at all the streamers who play PUBG, Shroud is undoubtedly the best PUBG player in the world. The mixture of the highest skill, professional work, arrogance, and entertainment otherwise only shows DrDisrespect in parts.
So, here officially: Shroud, congratulations, you are (for us) the best PUBG player in the world…
…if you ignore the competitive scene.
The small restriction must be. Shroud has, of course, the entertainment factor in mind in his streams. When he plays alone or in a team, he behaves completely differently in his streams than when he would participate in an Esport tournament.
If you look at the competitive scene, follow a few games, and compare that with Shroud’s gameplay, you’ll quickly realize that you shouldn’t compare apples with oranges.
When professional teams or players play against each other, many other skills and aspects come into play: Focused communication, perfectly coordinated timing of trained moves, significantly more strategic considerations. For example, a team that is only a few points away from reaching the next tournament round behaves quite differently than someone who does not have to think beyond a game. The playing style is therefore also influenced by the individual tournament situation.
We can say that there are probably much better team players in PUBG than Shroud when it comes to effectiveness in a competition.
Several appearances in PUBG streaming tournaments have clearly shown that Shroud has little chance against a well-rehearsed competitive team.
Nevertheless, I stick to it: Shroud is the best PUBG player globally as a streamer.
Why is Shroud so good in FPS Games?
Practice makes perfect. A large portion of talent helps, of course.
Shroud started very early with computer games and with first-person shooters in particular.
His mechanics, movement, game sense, and timing training began so early that he was always ahead of his peers.
Over the years, the experience was added in CSGO and now in PUBG.
In the end, there is only one factor that made Shroud so good: training.
Is Shroud a Pro Player?
Shroud was a pro player from 2014 to 2018 and has won over half a million dollars in prize money in major tournaments.
In 2018 he retired from the pro gaming scene to stream full time on Twitch.
Suppose you separate the term “Pro Player” from competitive gaming and interpret it in a way that you can make a living from gaming. In that case, he is still a Pro Player.
Why did Shroud retire?
As in most sports, an athlete is subject to a contract. Therefore, prize money, advertising money, and sponsorship money do not flow one-to-one to the player.
With his popularity, Shroud has built up such a large fan base that it is much more attractive from a business point of view alone to switch to the entertainment sector.
But he also says that it is more agreeable for him to enjoy a game without professional sports pressure.
With his stream’s income, he has much more creative possibilities and can create targeted, high-quality content for his audience.
In the end, he has improved a lot on the financial and human level with his retirement.
Is Shroud better than Ninja?
As I have already explained above, such a question compares different fruits.
Not only are the Main Games of these players completely different. Both players have strengths and weaknesses on different levels.
Shroud is undoubtedly superior to Ninja in the mechanics’ department. On the other hand, Ninja captivates a larger audience with its streamer style.
Since there are no meaningful measuring points for performance between the two, you can make no comparison.
If you take the audience numbers, Ninja wins. If you take the headshot quota, Shroud wins.
In my eyes, a comparison makes no sense at all. Or to use a similar comparison: Who is better, Tom Brady or LeBron James?
Is Shroud better than S1mple?
Let’s expand the question for now: Is Shroud better than S1mple in CSGO?
There was once a one on one match where S1mple was ahead in the end, but 1. it had little to do with a CSGO match in a team, and 2. it was a show-match with a running stream where he occasionally interacted with the audience while the game was running.
So this duel can’t be regarded as meaningful.
Here is the video:
Who is the best gamer in the world?
Yeah, who’s that? Unfortunately, as described above, we cannot answer who is the best athlete in the world.
Magnus Carlsen is a superhuman chess player and therefore the best player in chess (it is a sport, isn’t it?) 😉
LeBron James breaks record after record in basketball and is probably the best basketball player globally.
But can you compare the two? How is that possible?
It simply does not work.
Even in sports, players’ careers are so volatile and vary in length or short that comparisons make little sense.
Take, for example, the biggest single tournament win in Fortnite. In 2019 the 16-year-old “Bugha” (Kyle Giersdorf) won 3 million dollars.
What does that say about him? Nothing at this point of his career. We don’t know yet if he will keep up the high level for years or if he will be a one-hit-wonder.
Comparing players and genres in video games always ends in a disaster. The games, the genre, the conditions around them are too different. The rules and regulations in the pro gaming sector are also not standardized enough.
Comparing a perfectly playing streamer with a pro gamer playing the same game does not lead to any result. The parameters of the players are not comparable.
Shroud is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world. He is also definitely one of the best FPS players in the world. And again, in terms of PUBG, we can give him this nebulous title.
But is he the very best player in the world?
Clear answer: That cannot be determined.
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GL & HF! Flashback out.