In the world of relentless livestreaming games, few are getting the same demand as YouTube creator Valkyrae.
Last month, more than 650,000 fans watched her play the multiplayer space cartoon game. A few days earlier, she starred as a gore hero in Machine Gun Kelly’s new horror music video “Day Walker.” Valkyrae, who follows Rae, announced a web talk show “Q and Rae” and did. Heralded as the “Queen of YouTube” by online esports news site Dexerto.
Game analytics company Stream Hatchet estimates fans spent 24 million hours watching her during the outbreak. “Rae is the fastest growing live streamer in the world and is now a streamer. The biggest female game in the world, ”YouTube gaming chief Ryan Wyatt announced on Twitter in October.
The 29-year-old gamer has now been able to add company executives to her success.Valkyrae, whose real name is Rachell Hofstetter, has been named one of six owners of 100 Thieves, who leads the esports and lifestyle brand in Los Angeles Jack Dunlop, 26, better known as the Fortnite megastar CouRage, was also named owner.
They joined Scooter Braun, music manager; Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers and co-founder of Quicken Loans; Rapper Drake; And Matthew Haag is known as “Nadeshot,” and who is the former Call of Duty champion who founded 100 Thieves. “One of our core beliefs is to create a gamer brand for gamers,” said Mr. Haag. say
As co-owners, Valkyrae and CouRage will receive a share of the company, which Forbes magazine is worth $ 190 million recently, most recently. Indeed, driven by the youth of high-profile gamers, be it esports athletes or live personalities.
They will seek monetization initiatives beyond the actual gaming experience, including expanding the company’s popular street wear line (think Supreme for streamer) and working with the Creative Artists Agency. Which signed 100 Thieves in October on an entertainment deal on film, television and podcasts.
“Rae and Jack have such a great instinct in the gaming community that is more important than ever because so many kids want to be entertainers in the digital space,” said Haag.
The appointment of the company’s first female-owned Valkyrae also acknowledged the growing influence of female players, which now accounts for nearly 41 percent of U.S. video game users, according to Statista.
“My boyfriend and I have been playing video games since we were six,” Valkyrae said. What’s new we can see more now. “
Live From Beverly Hills
In a Zoom interview last month, Valkyrae was still dejected by the change in her title. “Yeah, apparently I’m a co-owner of 100 Thieves, which is crazy,” she said, with a well-known grin. For her fans
She sits in her usual spot: Mavix’s pre-engineered white gaming chair, a 27-inch HP Omen gaming screen in the bedroom of a modern new home outside Beverly Hills, anti-blue light glasses and headphones. Her massive wireless makes her look like an air traffic controller, tasked with managing an endless stream of live streams.
“I started streaming when I was 23, and I didn’t stop,” she said. “I’ve been doing this every day for years.”
Women like Valkyrae and Pokimane, a 24-year-old Canadian-Moroccan streamer with more than 7 million followers on Twitch, are part of a new generation of eminent female gamers with a cultural footprint on par with the likes of other gamers. Shows Hollywood and professional athletes in the Gen Z.
The companies have recently noticed that Valkyrae has partnered with Sweetgreen, a salad chain, which is the face of the Crispy Collections menu, and Totino’s, a frozen pizza brand, has sponsored her stream. On Tuesday, she joined Jimmy Fallon, Questlove and the cast of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” on the Twitch channel “The Tonight Show’s.”
The increased visibility was accompanied by an increase in hatred and harassment, including the January incident when Valkyrae was threatened on Twitter by followers tweeting her home address. It’s verbiage that some trolls would say to women, especially men who wouldn’t hear it, ”she said.
Her frank revelation about the online threats made her in a relationship with almost half of the streaming audience of girls and young women.
“When you look at the number of barriers to engagement that women face, including harassment altogether, you start to see women as the most active groups,” said TL Taylor, sociologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author. “Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming.”
GameStop to YouTube Star
For Valkyrae, gaming has long been a way to beat the odds. She grew up in Lake Moses, a rural town in central Washington, playing Super Mario Brothers on her Nintendo 64 as a way to drown out the screams between her parents.
She supports herself through community college by working at GameStop. Accessing the latest PlayStation or Xbox games makes it a great food for Instagram. “I was depressed and alone,” she says. “All I have is work and video games.”
Encouraged by her online followers, she joined Twitch in 2015, where she found her tribe in the Fortnite player-to-player arena and action RPG Dark Souls at the age of 23. Sponsor enough to be a full-time gamer.
Not only did fans attract her superhuman responses and her expertise in games like Fortnite, League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, and Valorant, her unfiltered and funky personality gave her many followers. Millions of people, many of whom embraced her like the eldest sister.
She spoke frankly about eating an autoimmune diet that required her to eat foods that reduce inflammation and be a workaholic. She tells stories about her family and has no confidence in telling viewers that she has to take a break from streaming.
“Her life doesn’t have much yellow tape or privacy,” said Haag. “In my opinion, her ability to open up and be yourself is probably the start of her success. ”
She is also the breadwinner. After her mother lost her job at a food factory, Valkyrae bought her a house in the Philippines, where she came from. Before her father died of cancer in 2017, she paid for end-of-life care.
“Everyone thinks the people they meet online are living the perfect life every day,” she said. “I hope I can help people see how difficult things are for everyone.”
Last year, YouTube signed Valkyrae into a pivotal multi-year live streaming deal. As part of the contract, she agreed to leave Twitch and effectively build a new subscriber base from the start.
In the first several months, people slowly moved to her new channel. Twitch, owned by Amazon and home to about two-thirds of online gaming audiences, is like a “well,” she said. The world’s second (second only to its parent company, Google) is “like the ocean”.
For three months starting in August, she spends six to nine hours a day playing Among Us with half a billion players worldwide. Celebrities like Lil Nas X and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Join her stream In December, the Game Awards (General Game’s Oscars) crowned her as Content Creator of the Year.
As she approaches 30, she is keeping her future in a business that, like any other sport, where competition is held as a young person’s game, “I am increasingly aware of how unhealthy the industry is,” she said. Never leave your room without socializing or with colleagues other than online. I mean, you sit in a chair all day. There will always be other streams or games available. ”
The deal with 100 Thieves could balance her being a player and a businesswoman. “As I get older, I try to plan how I can get out of this, what do I do next,” she says, sitting in a chair. Her Mavix “It makes me very happy to be a pioneer and model for so many women in the industry.”