The previous yr has not been sort to, uh, principally anyone, however Rachel “Valkyrae” Hofstetter is one the (typically rich) exceptions that proves the rule. She began 2020 with so-so numbers on her YouTube stream, solely to experience the Among Us phenomenon to absurd 100,000-viewer heights from which she has yet to come down. As of immediately, she is now part-owner of 100 Thieves, one of many largest organizations in all of esports.
Hofstetter, who was beforehand only a content material creator beneath the 100 Thieves umbrella, made the announcement on Twitter.
“Happy to announce that I am officially a co-owner of 100 Thieves!” she wrote. “It’s been almost 3 years since I joined the team, and I would have never expected this path to lead to this. I’m proud to be one of the first women co-owners in esports and beyond excited for our future together!”
In a 100 Thieves announcement video, Hofstetter, by most measures the most popular female streamer in the world, talked about how previous to starting her streaming profession she was working three jobs simply to get by. “I’m also very grateful because I feel like I could be a very good role model to, you know, not just my community, but our community, 100 Thieves’ community—and to females as well,” 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 new owner—each of whom now sit alongside founder and fellow YouTuber Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag.
The response to Hofstetter’s new position, specifically, has been so overwhelming that “Congrats Rae” trended on Twitter for some time. It’s indicative of how highly effective parasocial bonds may be; as typically occurs with streamers who obtain unbelievable fame and success, followers really feel like they’ve come on this journey with Hofstetter, and that is the fruits of everyone’s laborious work.
Certainly, in an trade as male-dominated as esports, it’s good to see a girl able of energy. Women’s experiences in esports and streaming are characterised by tales of abuse and harassment. People like Hofstetter can use their affect to assist lower down on that.
But the road between perceived good friend you watch from afar and rich, highly effective businessperson who needs to be regarded with skepticism grows blurrier by the day. Esports is a precarious, exploitative trade—one through which these in cost typically make far more money than players and smaller content creators, who in flip are generally inspired to overwork. The enterprise facet of the trade isn’t any stranger to controversies and scandals, one thing 100 Thieves has firsthand experience with.
With energy comes potential to impact change for the higher, but in addition alternatives for misuse and abuse. Fans typically have bother holding their faves accountable, and when these faves grow to be bosses, issues get even thornier.