Valkyrae and Amouranth Prove Streamers Are the New Celebrities

Humans have a strange tendency to seek out celebrities to admire. The chosen few who are thrust into fame get to enjoy fortune and adoration while being recognized for their works globally. For many years, the celebrities of the world typically came from Hollywood and graced screens as actors, actresses, comedians, and musicians. However, in recent years, with rapid societal changes brought on by technology, the internet, and much more, humans have begun to look elsewhere for their celebrities. This has led to the rise of celebrity streamers, particularly in the realm of video game streaming. There are no two women who illustrate this phenomenon quite like Amouranth and Valkyrae.

Both Amouranth and Valkyrae are video game streamers that have found great success and fame through live streaming, becoming undeniable internet superstars. Their influence is hard to overstate, and they receive enough views to regularly break records. For those growing up in the modern era, streamers such as these are the new, mainstream celebrities, complete with all the power and influence that comes with the title.

RELATED: Why Twitch Streamers Like Amouranth Are Getting Banned From Just Dance

Right Place, Right Time

Gaming has been steadily gaining traction as a mainstream hobby for years, but public interest in gaming ramped up heavily once the COVID-19 pandemic hit. With huge swaths of the population forced to remain indoors, many suddenly found or rediscovered the joys of gaming. Consequently, both Microsoft and Sony reported a meteoric rise in sales, especially the sale of digital games, in 2020. At the same time, the film and television industry took a nosedive due to the low number of people going to theaters, and the difficulty of filming during a pandemic. As a result, in 2020, the US domestic box office experienced a 40-year low.

This perfect alignment of conditions served video game streamers very well. They can stream their videos from home, and their viewers can also watch without leaving the house or having to put on a mask. The interest in video games during the COVID-19 pandemic turned into an interest in video game streamers and, as a result, many streamers saw some of their greatest milestones during the pandemic.

Although Valkyrae has been streaming since 2015, she only became the most-viewed female streamer on YouTube in 2020. Making it in the world of streaming is a difficult task, and for every success story there is a heap of failures. However, the stardom of modern streamers was certainly boosted by the pandemic, which kept folks indoors and glued to their computer screens.

The Money and the Influence

As celebrities should, Valkyrae and Amouranth are flush with money and influence. Although Valkyrae has an exclusive streaming contract with YouTube, that is not her only income stream, as she also co-owns 100 Thieves, an esports and apparel company co-owned by Scooter Braun, Dan Gilbert, and rapper Drake. Valkyrae's popularity only continues to grow, and she currently sits with 3.62 million YouTube subscribers.

Her work online has earned her many awards, including the Content Creator of the Year award at 2020's The Game Awards. She has used her influence to promote positive change in gaming, and to encourage more women to participate in gaming communities.

For anyone interested in streamers, it is impossible to not come across Amouranth's name. She is not strictly a gaming streamer, as she delves into ASMR, cosplay, and other types of streaming. Although she has had to deal with several bans, she still continues to be one of the most popular streamers. Amouranth is the 25th most followed streamer on Twitch, and was watched for 38.34 million hours in 2021 alone.

It seems like Amouranth is too big to permanently ban, although some have argued that her bans are the result of Twitch being more strict on female streamers compared to male streamers. Her streaming has made her a millionaire, and she has used her wealth to purchase gas stations, which she claims is an investment.

Both Amouranth and Valkyrae have proven that it is possible to become a global phenomenon through streaming. They reach audiences around the world and accumulate views that many television and movie stars can only dream of. Their celebrity status also seems more sustainable because while other celebrities are often at the mercy of big productions in order to film television shows or movies, streamers can make do with a webcam, a PC, and an internet connection.

Most importantly, streamers offer what celebrities of the past cannot — the illusion of a relationship. The nature of streaming lets viewers see streamers as they are, make comments, and interact, which is exceptionally alluring to anyone who may be lonely or looking for some company. Even though the parasocial relationship may be one-way, it is often enough to scratch the itch that many viewers have.

MORE: Valkyrae's 100 Thieves Announcement is a Perfect Example of Misogyny in the Industry

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Smangaliso Simelane (183 Articles Published)

Smangaliso Simelane spends most of his time writing. When he isn't working on his imaginary worlds, he is writing about video games.

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