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Valkyrae Gets a Big Chair in the Gaming World

  • April 08, 2021

A year ago, YouTube signed Valkyrae to a significant multiyear livestream deal. As part of the contract, she agreed to leave Twitch and effectively rebuild her subscriber base from scratch.

For the first several months, people were slow to migrate over to her new channel. Twitch, which is owned by Amazon and home to roughly two-thirds of online gaming viewership, is like “a pond,” she said, whereas YouTube, the second-most popular website in the world (after its parent company, Google), is “more like the ocean.”

For three months starting in August, she spent six to nine hours a day playing Among Us with half a billion players worldwide. Celebrities as diverse as Lil Nas X and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined her streams. In December, the Game Awards (the Oscars of gaming, basically) crowned her as the content creator of the year.

As she approaches 30, she is taking stock of her future in a business that, like other organized sports, is a young person’s game. “I am recognizing more and more how unhealthy the industry is,” she said. “You never leave your room, there is no socializing or co-workers except online. I mean, you’re sitting in a chair all day. There will always be another stream or game to play.”

The deal with 100 Thieves may allow her to balance being a player and a businesswoman. “As I get older, I am trying to plan how I am going to get out of this, what am I going to do next?” she said, sitting up on her Mavix chair. “It makes me so happy to be a pioneer and a role model for a lot of women in this industry.”

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