Gamer Influencer Pokimane Launches Talent Management Company RTS
Los Angeles-based streaming influencer Imane “Pokimane” Anys adds another hyphen to her title, co-founding a talent management and brand consulting firm RTS which is launched publicly today.
“I’ve been a content creator for almost eight years in a very, very young industry,” said Anys, 25. “I really felt like there was a lack of precedents to refer to for any sort of advice. To be honest, there’s no instruction manual or streamer’s manual. The YouTube video can tell you how to set up 3D lighting, but it can’t tell you what to do when you find yourself in an online controversy or teach you how to manage a team of editors to run your YouTube channel effectively. felt like I went through a lot of really frustrating trial and error when it came to building a team of people who could support me, my channels, and my businesses. Luckily today, that team is making sure I can balance all of my efforts with success. And I just want to be able to recreate that structure for other creators.
Anys, of Moroccan descent and raised in Canada, has 8.3 million subscribers to his Twitch account, where she plays titles such as Fortnite, Valorant, League of Legends and Among us. She has also 6.7 million YouTube subscribers on its main page there.
RTS has been under construction for nearly a year, and now has 10 employees. It’s based in Los Angeles, but as is common in both the pandemic and the streaming industry, its employees are spread across the continent.
Stuart Saw, a former Twitch and Endeavor executive, is CEO. Anys will serve as creative director.
“Imane and I started talking last year about how we can build RTS to reinvent the creator economy and esports in a way that focuses on the sustainability of our industry,” Saw said in a statement. “She has such a keen eye on the business, which will be a huge asset to creators and brands who really want to make a long-term difference.”
Other key team members include VP of Talent Management Sue Lee (formerly at Twitch), COO Kim Phan (formerly at Blizzard and Endeavour), and VP of Sales and partnerships Jason Scorrano (formerly at Pax and Turner Sports).
Advisors include co-founder and former Twitch COO Kevin Lin, head of PUBG Corp. for the Americas, Brian Corrigan, and Endeavor Executive Vice President of Content Strategy and Partnerships, Karen Brodkin.
The company’s name is partly a tribute to one of the gaming industry’s beloved genres, real-time strategy, a term that also applies to what the company hopes to accomplish for its customers, Anys said.
But the company has bigger ambitions to help reform an industry that has been troubled by trolls, sexism, racism, abuse, and problematic business and personal relationships.
“Right now, we’re just launching with a focus on games,” Anys said. “That could change in the future. But I think our goal right now is to solve a lot of the problems that we see in the gaming industry. Every creator’s interests are different. They may want to take directions in non-gaming areas, which we will wholeheartedly support. But as a company, that’s our main focus right now. We’ll see if that pivots in the future, but not until, at least in my opinion, I feel a bit more satisfied with the level of business in the industry we’re in.
Anys has been a strong advocate for work-life balance and the prevention of burnout at a company known for its negative impacts on the most successful creators, who can find themselves strapped to an algorithmic grindstone, endlessly pushing content.
RTS will focus on “creators we believe in” and provide career advice and connections, while reducing the heavy workload of talent who often feels like they have to do it all, Anys said.
“Essentially, we would step in and help them on all fronts of the creative business, from optimizing your work-life balance to organizing your finances, which I’m pretty sure a lot of streamers tend to to put on the back burner,” Anys said. “(Also) just putting together a team of people that you can delegate even small mundane tasks to can end up really, really, really taking the stress off your shoulders and allowing you to do what you do best, c ie just broadcasting, creating content, making others happy.
In addition to advising creators, RTS consults with brands in esports and beyond. The company owns and operates with Sony the Evolution Championship Series, an esports event known as Evo. It also works with Epic Games on the Fortnite World Cup and with Facebook.