The previous yr has not been type to, uh, principally anyone, however Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter is one the (usually rich) exceptions that proves the rule. She began 2020 with so-so numbers on her YouTube stream, solely to journey the Amongst Us phenomenon to absurd 100,000-viewer heights from which she has but to come back down. As of as we speak, she is now part-owner of 100 Thieves, one of many greatest organizations in all of esports.
Hofstetter, who was beforehand only a content material creator beneath the 100 Thieves umbrella, made the announcement on Twitter.
“Joyful to announce that I’m formally a co-owner of 100 Thieves!” she wrote. “It’s been virtually three years since I joined the crew, and I’d have by no means anticipated this path to result in this. I’m proud to be one of many first girls co-owners in esports and past excited for our future collectively!”
In a 100 Thieves announcement video, Hofstetter, by most measures the most well-liked feminine streamer on this planet, talked about how previous to starting her streaming profession she was working three jobs simply to get by. “I’m additionally very grateful as a result of I really feel like I may very well be an excellent function mannequin to, you already know, not simply my neighborhood, however our neighborhood, 100 Thieves’ neighborhood—and to females as nicely,” Hofstetter, who additionally lately appeared in a Machine Gun Kelly video, stated within the video.
She joins fellow 100 Thieves content material creator Jack “CouRage” Dunlop as a brand new proprietor—each of whom now sit alongside founder and fellow YouTuber Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag.
The response to Hofstetter’s new function, particularly, has been so overwhelming that “Congrats Rae” trended on Twitter for some time. It’s indicative of how highly effective parasocial bonds might be; as usually occurs with streamers who obtain inconceivable fame and success, followers really feel like they’ve come on this journey with Hofstetter, and that is the fruits of all people’s laborious work.
Definitely, in an business as male-dominated as esports, it’s good to see a lady able of energy. Girls’s experiences in esports and streaming are characterised by tales of abuse and harassment. Individuals like Hofstetter can use their affect to assist lower down on that.
However the line between perceived pal you watch from afar and rich, highly effective businessperson who must be regarded with skepticism grows blurrier by the day. Esports is a precarious, exploitative business—one through which these in cost usually make far more cash than gamers and smaller content material creators, who in flip are generally inspired to overwork. The enterprise aspect of the business is not any stranger to controversies and scandals, one thing 100 Thieves has firsthand expertise with.
With energy comes skill to impact change for the higher, but in addition alternatives for misuse and abuse. Followers usually have hassle holding their faves accountable, and when these faves turn out to be bosses, issues get even thornier.