Valkyrae reveals stress about leaving Twitch viewers for YouTube: “I abandoned them”

Theo Salaun
valkyrae youtube switch
Twitter, @Valkyrae

One of the world’s most influential streamers, 100 Thieves’ Valkyrae has opened up and revealed the stresses behind her switch from Twitch to YouTube — including worries that she had “abandoned” her viewers.

Taking a cursory look at the gaming and streaming industry, Rachel ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter seems to have easily earned her “Queen of YouTube” recognition

In the past year alone, the 100T streamer overtook Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys as the most-watched female streamer, won the Game Awards’ Content Creator of the Year, and became a co-owner of 100 Thieves.

But, while Rae’s YouTube channel now earns around nearly $200,000 a month, that success did not come easily. In a new retrospective video, Valkyrae reveals how stressed and unhappy she was during the switch to YouTube back in January 2020 — and, particularly, why she worried she had betrayed her followers.

Touching on current successes and the path to get here, Valkyrae dives into the emotions she felt when she left thousands of daily viewers for contract security: “When I decided to switch over to YouTube, I pretty much was sacrificing everything I had worked for, for stability.”

Namely, the streamer was concerned that she had sacrificed her community: “I was kind of freaking out about how people were going to think about me switching over to a different platform.”

After losing thousands of viewers during the switch, Rae elaborates that she was concerned about disappointing her fans: “I was pretty stressed about it … I felt like I was letting a lot of people down, like my core community that used to watch me on Twitch. I felt like they just didn’t wanna watch me anymore because I left them or abandoned them.”

Valkyrae starred in MGK's "DAYWALKER!" video clip, released last week.
YouTube: Machine Gun Kelly
Valkyrae went from stressed streamer to spooky music video star, embodying a year of unprecedented growth.

Ultimately, we all know that Valkyrae’s audience bounced back — in a major way. But, at the time, the successful streamer reveals that she “wasn’t necessarily happy” and “was really, really struggling with the move.”

A testament to the care for her community, those early woes have slipped aside as the streamer now opens new doors. Making music, appearing in music videos and on talk shows, Rae is especially proud of a new accomplishment: 45% of her viewers are now women.

And that’s what counts for the 100T co-owner, who seems most proud of her efforts to legitimize minorities in the gaming world: “Me, a woman of color and a female in gaming? If I can do it, I can inspire so many other women to be able to do the same thing.”