The Valkyrae takeover: It’s time we crown the 100 Thieves star the “Queen of YouTube”

Isaac McIntyre
Valkyrae sits on a throne as the Queen of YouTube.

Valkyrae has climbed to incredible heights since joining YouTube as a headline streamer in 2020 ⁠— it’s time we finally made it official, and crowned the 100 Thieves star the definitive queen of the world’s biggest video platform.

It’s been a long road for Rachel ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter since the stream queen, now 29, quit her part-time job at GameStop to pursue a risky career switch.

Hofstetter began her Twitch journey at 23. She built a modest following on the Amazon-owned platform and added YouTube to her repertoire soon after. Three years on, she inked a deal with Nadeshot’s growing org, 100 Thieves. YouTube poached her in an exclusive big-money deal 18 months after.

Valkyrae’s rise to the top hasn’t been easy either.

She has opened up in the past about her health issues, and the 100 Thieves star ⁠— like many women online ⁠— has had to deal with stalkers and over-eager fans.

Even recently, the 29-year-old opened up about her ongoing battles with gut health, and an auto-immune disease that forces her to carefully watch her diet and health regimes.

In early 2020, her four-year relationship also came to an end.

Through all that, Valkyrae has quietly been building a massive, ever-growing fanbase. The stream queen has become her own internet sensation. There can be no denying it: Rachel Hofstetter has earned her place as the Queen of YouTube.

Instagram: Valkyrae
Valkyrae has staked her claim as “Queen of YouTube” off the back of a huge 2020.

“Queen of YouTube” isn’t a title just anyone gets, either.

Valkyrae, though, is one of the modern-day stars on Google’s platform. Recently, she pipped Pokimane as the most-watched female streamer in 2020. According to StreamHatchet, Hofstetter boasted a 7,304% growth in hours watched.

Then there’s her “crossover” stardom ⁠— the YouTube sensation has been involved in a number of online groups and fandoms.

There’s her 100 Thieves circle, of course. Then she’s been at the heart of a number of more recent OfflineTV trends alongside Pokimane, DisguisedToast, and that content group’s star-studded lineup.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, she’s even cracking the mainstream; just last week, Valkyrae had a starring role in Machine Gun Kelly’s “DAYWALKER!” video, acting out a performance piece for camera-shy feature artist Corpse Husband.

Valkyrae starred in MGK's "DAYWALKER!" video clip, released last week.
Valkyrae had a starring role in MGK’s “DAYWALKER!” video clip, released last week.

Basically, everywhere you look in streaming culture, Valkyrae has left her bubbly mark. Not only that, she lifts every group and ‘crossover’ she’s a part of too.

Her popularity just doesn’t seem to slow down either.

In late 2020, the YouTube star was declared “the fastest-growing livestreamer in the world” by the platform’s head, Ryan Wyatt. That claim, while slightly self-serving for the Google platform, does continue to ring true five months later.

Since Wyatt made that claim, Valkyrae has averaged a whopping 17,103,722 monthly views between mid-November and now, according to stats site SocialBlade.

Valkyrae with among us overlay
Hundreds of thousands tune in to watch Hofstetter play Among Us.

Every day, more fans flood into the 100 Thieves star’s streams.

We hesitate to say “rags to riches,” but it has been a meteoric rise for the star. In early 2020 she was averaging around 4k viewers per stream; a far cry from her Twitch numbers. By the end of the year, she was regularly cracking 100k playing Among Us in mega-sized event streams.

Her stunning calendar year even netted the 29-year-old the title of “Content Creator of the Year” at the ever-illustrious Game Awards, beating out megastars like NICKMERCS, Alanah Pearce, Jay-Ann Lopez, and TimtheTatman.

Valkyrae has finally taken her well-deserved place among the streaming elite. The only thing missing now is the coronation ⁠— a fitting reward for the star.

Valkyare was crowned “Content Creator of the Year” at the Game Awards last year.

Ironically, however, Hofstetter may be the last streamer actually willing to accept the title of “Queen of YouTube.” Throughout her explosive ‘Valkyrae’ saga over the past seven plus years, the star has stayed the same: humble.

In fact, Valkyrae herself still sometimes finds herself shocked about her huge career, the YouTube streamer admitted in an interview back in 2020. The amount of people that tune in to watch her, and look up to her, “blows [her] away.”

“It’s amazing… Streaming is about way more than entertainment. People say it’s fun to watch,” she said. “I wouldn’t be doing it for as long as I have, if I didn’t realize what an impact it would have on people. I’m just very happy with it.”

And her secret to streaming success?

Well, “you just have to be your own number one fan.”