Newly-minted YouTube star Rachell ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter has now officially left Twitch after five years on the platform, and revealed during her first broadcast on January 14 why she made the call to swap streaming sites for good.
In the latest defection in the streaming wars, Valkyrae made the choice to join fellow 100 Thieves creator Jake ‘CourageJD’ Dunlop on YouTube. On January 14, her life with the new site began, and she lifted the lid on her reasons for the change.
According to Hofstetter, there were a few key elements involved in her move, including the offer of more freedom, and “financial security” – Valkyrae is reportedly receiving just under $1 million per year for the swap.
— RAE (@Valkyrae) January 13, 2020
“Obviously, obviously, obviously we’re not going to beat around the bush — there was some financial stability, it now helps me and my family,” she said.
Valkyrae has supported her mother full-time for the past three years, after her mom lost her job. The 28-year-old revealed her YouTube deal was enough to alleviate the stress that came with supporting herself along with her family.
“My mom is pretty much my baby now,” she continued. “It’s really cool that I can help her entirely without her worrying about getting a job, because she’s sick and not as young as she used to be, she’s in her 50s now so that’s nice for her.”
Financial security wasn’t the only reason behind her high-profile defection, the 100 Thieves star added. There was also the “creative freedom” YouTube had offered, from “not having to worry about numbers” to “expanding content.”
“I’ve been a gamer my whole life, but there’s a lot of things that I want to do beyond just streaming,” she said. “I feel like [here] I can expand my brand more. I want to get into fitness and beauty, and I feel like I can blog more here.”
When fellow 100T creator Courage left Twitch for the red halls of YouTube, he admitted part of the change was due to “struggling with numbers” on the Amazon-owned platform. It’s a feeling Valkyrae also echoed after her move.
According to the former Twitch star, who dabbles in everything from League of Legends to Just Chatting vlogs, the idea that she could do anything during her stream, and play any game, without having to “fear the metrics,” was "liberating."
“That was the biggest thing for me, really, not having to worry about numbers anymore… I don’t have to worry subscriber count, or view count,” she said.
“It takes all the worry away. I can just focus on the content I make, and I can literally have fun, produce as much as possible for you guys, and make stuff that I’m proud of. I think that’s the biggest thing for me.”
Valkyrae continued on that she was already planning on dipping her toes into some other types of videos, including making music, and voice acting. She also expressed interest in her beauty vlogs, which she’s been keen on for some time.
On top of her own content, the swap also lets her spread her wings alongside the rest of the 100 Thieves quarter in Courage, Brooke, and organization founder Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag, all of whom just moved to a new house in Los Angeles.
“There’ll be a lot of new stuff,” she teased to end her explanation. “The YouTube team has been so attentive, and they listen to everything I say. Lots of really cool stuff on the horizon, a lot of potential stuff in the far and/or near future.”
“I feel relieved,” she added. “It’s just an amazing feeling.”
For mobile readers, the related segment in the livestream below begins at 57:37.
For now, the YouTube’s newest star is just settling into the process around the streaming service, and is working with the site to “make sure everything keeps improving” as her fanbase moves across with her.
Valkyrae isn't the only star to have been poached in the past week either, with Australian duo Lannon 'Lazarbeam' Eacott and Elliot 'Muselk' Watkins putting pen to paper with the video-hosting giant in exclusive deals too.
With YouTube flexing their muscles again, it’s only a matter of time before the next streamer announces a big move — the only question now is: who’s next?