Why Is Valkyrae So Popular? Understanding How She Got the Title of ‘Queen of YouTube’

Published 07/02/2021, 2:02 PM EDT


Rachel Hofstetter, more commonly known as her online alias ‘Valkyrae’ is often considered the ‘Queen of YouTube’. However, Rachel comes from very humble beginnings, making her meteoric rise to fame all the more impressive. During her journey to the top, she experienced many setbacks, but refused to give up.

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Early stages in the career of Valkyrae

The streamer we know today was holding down three jobs while in Community College. In an interview, she revealed that she was working at a car wash, a bank, and finally at GameStop. The latter would help to nurture Rae’s passion for gaming. Aside from tedious college life, Rachel also underwent a troublesome childhood.

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Her parents were constantly fighting with each other. She attributes much of these problems to her father’s overuse of alcohol. In order to keep her children happy, Valkyrae reveals that her mother would give them whatever they wanted. For Valkyrae, it was all about consoles and games.

After quitting her job at GameStop, Valkyrae’s interest turned towards streaming. Initially, she would interact with gaming enthusiasts on Instagram and by 2015 she became a full-fledged streamer. Valkyrae would start on Twitch, where she blew up alongside Fortnite. Later she was even able to carve a niche on YouTube.

Valkyrae’s immense success over the years

While it is Rae’s streaming and gaming skills that made her as successful as she is today, she defied all expectations when she was the first female creator to join 100 Thieves. 100 Thieves is an E-sports organization founded by former Call of Duty professional Nadeshot. Due to the amazing work ethic and the value she bought to the team, Rae was eventually made a co-owner of the organization.

Watch this story: Top Female Fortnite Streamers

In an era where streaming was primarily dominated by male gamers like Ninja and Shroud, Valkyrae refused to be neglected, which is why she is so successful today. Rae quickly adapted to the Among Us ‘meta’ on Twitch. She, alongside the OfflineTV group, regularly enjoyed competitive yet hilarious games. This has further opened up many opportunities for the streamer. Towards the end of 2020, she even got to play alongside Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Similarly, due to her success with Fortnite, Rachel was invited to the Pro-AM hosted by Epic Games at E3 2018. Here, she played alongside Murda Beats. She was recognized as the ‘Content Creator of the Year’ at The Game Awards 2020 and furthermore as the ‘Gaming Creator of the Year’ at the Adweek Creator Visionary Awards 2021.

 

In addition to Fortnite, Valkyrae has built up a loyal fanbase while streaming games like ‘Bloodborne‘ and ‘The Walking Dead’. Most recently, she has gotten into Valorant, a first-person shooter developed by Riot Games.

For the most part, Valkyrae has managed to steer away from any kind of controversy. However, she did have a well-known internet relationship with Michael “SonyD” Sherman. The two went back and forth and eventually called it quits in 2018. Rae explained, “The things that needed to be worked on and fulfilled and whatever never got fulfilled because we got back together and stuff.

Controversies Valkyrae has gotten into

While Valkyrae still gets tons of creepy comments on her streams, she has learned to either ban or ignore those people. There are also many fans who shower Valkyrae with love on a daily basis. In a Q&A video, Valkyrae said, “I appreciate the simps and the white knights because they’re kind, you know? They don’t seem like they’re being stalkers and stuff, you know? They’re not putting a woman on a pedestal and giving her everything. They’re just giving her a compliment, right?”

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Recently, Valkyrae found herself in hot water over some comments she made during her stream. In what was an attempt to show her appreciation of women, Valkyrae said, “I wish I was gay... I love women so much.” The general public criticized her as they viewed this as Rae being oblivious to the challenges people from the LGBTQ community experience every day.

Despite all these controversies, the toughest moment for Valkyrae was when her father passed away from cancer. At the time, Rae was taking care of her father and revealed that it was her fans that helped her to stay strong. Now, she is returning the favor by providing for her mother who has retired.

Now, as one of the most successful streamers on the platform and a co-owner of 100 Thieves, Valkyrae has a bright future ahead of her. What milestone do you think Rae will hit next? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Aaron Dias

442 articles

Aaron Dias is an eSports author at EssentiallySports. Currently, he is a student at Xaviers College and is heavily invested in eSports. His interest in eSports began when he was young, with titles like FIFA, WWE, and Grand Theft Auto.

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