Who Is The Bigger Streamer: Pokimane Or Valkyrae?
2020 continues to be a surprising and fascinating year for those who keep up with the world of streaming as expectations are overturned and stars rise and fall. When it comes to women who stream, Pokimane has been dominant for some time — The Loadout called her "the undisputed queen of Twitch" and she regularly tops lists of the most popular female streamers. But is that changing?
Fellow streamer Valkyrae, who uploads her content to YouTube, may be giving Pokimane a run for her money these days. With both content creators doing so well, gamers can't help but wonder: which one is the bigger streamer? And will that change anytime soon?
Pokimane, whose real name is Imane Anys, has long been a controversial figure, although one might argue that her high-profile status makes that a certainty within the world of streaming celebrities. She took a break from Twitch in late summer 2020 as part of a "life overhaul" she said she needed because she was getting burnt out. She returned to Twitch in early September, and her viewership stats don't seem to have suffered too much as a result.
Pokimane made her name playing games like Fortnite and League of Legends, but she's jumped onto the Among Us bandwagon as well. Of her streams during the month of October, she's gotten more than a million views on eight separate days and she had 6 million followers on Twitch at the time of this writing.
Meanwhile, Valkyrae — known in real life as Rachel Hofstetter — is getting huge buzz at the moment. She started streaming Among Us about two months ago and has gone at it pretty consistently since a month back. And in that time, her viewership has grown tremendously. When she left Twitch in January 2020, her Twitch streams occasionally topped 4K maximum views. According to unaffiliated site TwitchTracker's stats, she had a little over 945,000 followers when she jumped ship. Those are respectable numbers, but not in Pokimane's league.
Today, her YouTube page reflects a change in Valkyrae's fortunes. Of the streams she's done in the past 30 days, her viewership each day has ranged from almost 400K to 1.2 million, which is a big improvement from her Twitch days. She has a subscription base on YouTube of 1.62 million subscribers, which can be considered somewhat equivalent to Twitch's followers.
Ryan Wyatt, YouTube's head of gaming, congratulated Valkyrae on Twitter on Oct. 16, saying, "Let me tell you this, Rae is the fastest growing live streamer in the entire world, and now the biggest female gaming streamer in the world. And I'm here to celebrate this!!!! Keep it up, Rae!" Along with the message, he retweeted a post from Valkyrae that illustrated her recent rise.
Valkyrae had quite a tumultuous start to the year. She is part of the 100 Thieves gaming organization and lived in the group's L.A. content house until early 2020. She and her former partner of four years ended their relationship and she revealed that she was having a rough start after switching to YouTube. So her rapid growth there may prove that she has become more comfortable at her new streaming home. In a follow up tweet, Valkyrae credited her success to "Among Us, streaming with friends, YouTube and 100thieves."
Now, it's not easy to compare some of Valkyrae and Pokimane's numbers directly, as what's available publicly to users is fairly minimal. Nevertheless, Pokimane still appears to have the edge with her 6 million followers and videos that regularly top 1 million views. However, it's clear that Valkyrae's numbers are growing very fast: she claims that, in less than 10 months, she went from 333,000 live views to 11.3 million, and from 1,100 average concurrent viewers to 31K, as she revealed on Twitter. Her peak concurrent views also went up from 3,100 to 67K. Those are pretty steep improvements! If she can keep that rate up, she may very well knock Pokimane off her streaming throne sometime down the line.
It's definitely in Wyatt's interest to trumpet her success, whether or not she's bigger than Pokimane, though, since he obviously has a stake in YouTube Gaming's success. But the fact that he trumpeted those numbers and called her "clearly identifiable superstar talent" has definitely pegged Valkyrae as one to watch going forward. And, with both of these streamers now playing Among Us regularly, that may not provide the edge either way. Fans will just have to keep watching to see if this race heats up.