Top streamer Valkyrae named part owner of esports organisation 100 Thieves

Valkyrae’s new role as co-owner of 100 Thieves puts the most popular female gaming streamer at the helm of one of the biggest esports organisations.

Valkyrae is a name that can’t be ignored in the esports industry. Not only is she the most popular female streamer and The Game Awards 2020’s Content Creator of the Year, but she has now been revealed as a new part-owner of massive esports organisation, 100 Thieves.

Rachel ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter has been named a co-owner of 100 Thieves alongside Jack ‘CouRage’ Dunlop, with two of the brand’s biggest content creators now having a seat at the table. They join an ownership group with an interesting assortment of names, comprising of founder and CEO Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag, rapper Drake, music manager Scooter Braun, and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

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Since a historic start at 100 Thieves as their first female content creator in 2018, Valkyrae has been gaining popularity as a YouTube and Twitch creator, with her viewership skyrocketing throughout 2020 as she jumped on the Among Us craze. She’s now got 3.3 million subscribers on YouTube, and in 2020 left Twitch to stream there exclusively under a multi-year deal.

She did, however, appear on Twitch recently to join Jimmy Fallon’s debut stream, proving the cultural relevance of her name. Her impact on the gaming community is undeniable, with “Congrats Rae” even trending on Twitter as excited fans reacted to the news of her new role.

Valkyrae shared her pride and excitement in a video released by 100 Thieves:

“Looking back, I just feel like it’s been such a long journey. And now being, not just a co-owner, but a female co-owner, like how did this even happen!  It just feels like everything just played out so unbelievably well. 

I feel very lucky and very fortunate to be in this position. I’m also very grateful because I feel I can be a very good role model, not just to our community but to females as well.”

Haag, company founder, also released a statement explaining the rationale behind making 100 Thieves a platform made both by and for content creators:

“Rae and Jack have been with us since 2018 and 2019, respectively, and are significant contributors to 100 Thieves. They deserve recognition for what they’ve done for the company to date – and we want their strategic input on what we can all do together in the future.”

Valkyrae and CouRage are set to continue making content for the platform, as well as becoming more involved in the business strategy of 100 Thieves, and the new part owners will also receive equity in the company. Their responsibilities will include “helping identify and bring on new talent, building new programs and other initiatives”, such as working beyond gaming by expanding the company’s streetwear line and working with CAA on entertainment deals.

It seems that 100 Thieves have plans to actually utilise Valkyrae and CouRage’s knowledge of the industry and connection with the gaming community to keep improving and extending the company, rather than making them merely faces to a brand. Hopefully, this eventuates into real action with concrete benefits.

This newfound power in the hands of a content creator could be especially impactful coming from Valkyrae, who has risen to prominence in an industry that is so heavily male-dominated. A woman in a position of power is relieving to see, with esports typically being characterised by toxic masculinity.

With an increasing need to address harassment in the gaming community, Valkyrae’s new position gives her the ability to encourage the reduction of sexism and abuse from within the company. While she obviously cannot be expected to suddenly instigate profound societal change, she’s declared that she’s “so happy to be a pioneer and role model for a lot of women in this industry”, and it would be great to see her newfound power be used to promote positive change.

It should, however, be kept in mind that anyone with a stake in a company is going to be operating in the interest of the business, no matter how much you feel like they are your trusted friend. A dash of skepticism is always healthy in these matters, especially in an industry so marked by scandal, and accountability is always important.

That being said, this deal has some truly exciting potential for both the brand and the community, and it’s worth keeping an eye on how it pans out. For now, fans of Valkyrae – and really all women in gaming – should be celebrating.