Valkyrae: From GameStop to Queen of YouTube | EarlyGame
Steadily climbing to the top

Valkyrae: From GameStop to Queen of YouTube

Entertainment
Valkyrae rose to fame gradually
Valkyrae rose to fame gradually. (Credit: Valkyrae/100 Thieves/Dexerto)

Valkyrae is easily one of the most recognizable names in the streaming community nowadays. Her climb to the top has been gradual and, unusual for the field - scandal free, which makes this a particularly inspiring chapter in our influencer bio series.

Rachel "Valkyrae" Hofstetter is living proof that you don't need hot tub streams to be on top of the food chain. How did she get so popular then? With persistence.

Valkyrae: The Early Years

Valkyrae was born Rachel Hofstetter on January 8, 1992 to a mixed German-Filipino family. She grew up and attended community college in Washington D.C., with nothing suggesting she would become the streaming behemoth she is now. She might not have even become that if it weren't for a little help from her friends.

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How Did Valkyrae Become a Streamer?

Up until 2014, Hofstetter was a regular gamer like you and me. She was working at GameStop and dreaming big. It's around that time that she began sharing her hobby on Instagram to rave reviews. Encouraged by fans, friends and already established streamers, Valkyrae became a full-time content creator on Twitch in 2015.

The next three years she slowly built a following, expanding into YouTube and making the name Valkyrae known to the masses. Her career truly took off after joining a certain crew.

How Valkyrae Became the Biggest Female Streamer in the World

Though her growth on the scene is as steady as they go, we can still point to an event in Valkyrae's career and say yep, that's the turning moment. We are of course speaking of her joining 100 Thieves as a content creator in the beginning of 2018.

Of course, simply adding a brand to your name is not enough, you gotta still grind. Rachel Hofstetter does grind: over the course of two years she became the premier female Twitch streamer and helped spread the 100 Thieves name just as much as it helped her to spread her own brand. She became so big, Twitch was no longer able to contain her.

Move to YouTube, 100 Thieves Ownership and Future Plans

In January 2020, Valkyrae stepped out of the comfort zone that is Twitch to sign an exclusive deal with YouTube. A risky move that might not have panned out. Initially, the Washington native struggled to match her old viewership, but while many would have folded, Rachel waited for the right wave to jump on.

Valkyrae as co-owner of 100 Thieves
Valkyrae right after becoming 100 Thieves co-owner. (Credit: 100 Thieves)

The launch of Among Us and the streaming craze that it spawned rejuvenated Valkyrae's content and viewership count. What's more: she officially overtook Pokimane as the most watched female streamer in the world: a feat that won her the "Queen of YouTube" moniker in early 2021.

In the light of Valkyrae's most recent comments, she is probably much prouder of another early 2021 achievement: becoming part-owner of 100 Thieves - the org she had joined as a content creator three years earlier.

Now, officially a businesswoman, Rachel Hofstetter revealed that she is looking more towards life beyond streaming and social media than she had ever done before. With pretty much nothing but success under her belt, we don't doubt her abilities to succeed in whichever field she chooses to venture.

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