Why Valkyrae Winning Content Creator of the Year for 2020 Was the Right Call
We saw Valkyrae take home the title of “Content Creator of the Year” for 2020, and that’s a huge success for our industry and community. Why? Women and representation matters. The esports and streaming scenes have spent far too much time downplaying women’s achievements by telling female streamers that they’re only popular because of their looks or other shallow things. That’s not the case at all. While the fanbases of many talented creators, xQc in particular, may have been shocked not to see their favorite creator take home the trophy, let’s be real. There are plenty of highly talented creators out there, but they weren’t robbed of this award. They may not have even been nominated. Valkyrae had a monumental year and certainly earned her place.
More Than Streaming
You have to consider how The Game Awards decide these things. It’s a “90% voting jury, 10% fan poll,” from what we understand. If it were entirely fan decided, would xQc have won? Maybe! Content Creator of the Year 2020 is about more than being popular, having lots of money, followers, subs, etc., and Valkyrae more than deserves it.
Content creation is more than just remembering to live stream regularly. Being a content creator also has a lot of connotations that go along with it. Valkyrae raised money for charity, for example. Just being a regular streamer doesn’t make you the best content creator. It’s far more than that. Is the content creation in question truly a good example and a positive force in the world of social media and content creation??
Fan Opinions Matter, But So Does Behavior
How streamers are perceived and interact with others is truly crucial when it comes to awards like this. Hafu’s description of why she reportedly ‘feared’ streaming with xQc is telling. “I’m scared of him because he’s a bigger streamer, the biggest streamer, and even if he doesn’t do anything, his viewers will come and kill you.”
xQc’s community is incredibly toxic and are not welcoming in the least. Sure, he’s got possibly the biggest streaming community around. He is also aware that when he’s toxic, others are toxic too, but he doesn’t do a lot to turn it around. You also need to consider xQc’s recent week-long ban for stream sniping in a Twitch Rivals event.
But is problematic behavior from other streamers the reason Valkyrae took home the 2020 Content Creator of the Year award at The Game Awards? Not at all. That was not likely all of it.
A Legend Receiving the Respect She Deserves
Valkyrae’s seen a lot of success since moving from YouTube to Twitch, and perhaps the biggest growth she saw was by streaming Among Us. But who cares? Does it matter that she “ride the wave” of a popular game? So does virtually every big-name streamer! In what world do we look down at some streamers for playing something popular and not others? Women do not have enough representation in esports and streaming. Why? Because anytime a woman comes up and becomes popular, toxic communities decide that they don’t deserve to be there.
Valkyrae is a positive force on social media and as well as gaming in general. She does a lot to help the representation of women. She’s an advocate for women in online gaming and isn’t afraid to play on all-female teams. This award is for people who bring the best to content creation in general, not just “someone who makes a lot from streaming.” So, congratulations to Valkyrae! Sure, the xQc fanbase has been terrifyingly vile about the decision, it does nothing to change the fact that Valkyrae took home the Content Creator of the Year Award for 2020.
We’ve seen plenty of discussions online about some communities feel their favorite creators were snubbed, but it’s best to filter out the noise. It’s also important to remember that “Content Creator” and “Streamer” aren’t the same.
Any of the winners would have deserved it, but at the end of the day, The Game Awards decided that the 100 Thieves star should receive recognition for her hard work over the entire year. Sure, there are some very loud voices going on about how unfair it is. The gaming community as a majority seems to be very excited to see Valkyrae win.
It’s time we throw away the notion that women are only popular because of their looks because that’s nonsense. There are so many powerful, talented women in gaming. That and “women can’t beat men” should also go the way of the Dodo. Which is to say, it can go away, far, far away.