Pokimane, a gamer influencer, has launched an RTS management firm.
Imane “Pokimane” Anys, a streaming influencer living in Los Angeles, is adding another hyphen to her name by co-founding RTS, a talent management and brand consultancy agency that officially starts 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 guidance. To be honest, there’s no instruction manual or no streamer handbook. YouTube video can tell you how to set up 3-D lighting, but it can’t tell you what to do when you wind up in an online controversy or teach you how to manage a team of editors to efficiently run your YouTube channel. So I feel like I went through a lot of really frustrating trial and error when it came to building a team of people that could support me, my channels, and my businesses. Luckily though, today, that team ensures that I can balance all my endeavors successfully. And I just want to be able to recreate that structure for other creators.”
Anys, who was born in Morocco but raised in Canada, has 8.3 million Twitch followers and plays games like Fortnite, Valorant, League of Legends, and Among Us. On her primary page on YouTube, she has 6.7 million subscribers.
RTS has been in the works for about a year and presently employs ten people. It’s headquarters in Los Angeles, but staff are spread across the continent, as is customary in both the pandemic and the streaming sector.
Stuart Saw, a former executive at Twitch and Endeavor, is the company’s CEO. Chief Creative Officer will be Anys.
“Imane and I began talking last year on how we can build RTS to reimagine the creator economy and esports in a way that focuses on the sustainability of our industry,” Saw said in a release. “She has such a keen eye on the business, which will be a huge asset to creators and brands who truly want to make a long-term difference.”
Sue Lee (previously of Twitch), Kim Phan (formerly of Blizzard and Endeavor), and Jason Scorrano, VP Sales and Partnerships, are among the other significant members of the team (formerly with Pax and Turner Sports).
Kevin Lin, Twitch co-founder and former COO, PUBG Corp. Head of Americas Brian Corrigan, and Karen Brodkin, Endeavor EVP of Content Strategy & Partnerships
Anys explained that the business’s name is a nod to one of the gaming industry’s most popular genres, real-time strategy, which is a term that also refers to what the company hopes to achieve for its clients.
However, the startup has greater plans to help improve an industry plagued by trolls, sexism, racism, abuse, and strained business and personal relationships.
“For now, we’re just launching with a focus on gaming,” Anys said. “It may change in the future. But I think our current goal right now is to address a lot of the issues that we see within the gaming industry. Every creator’s interests are different. They may want to take directions in non-gaming-related sectors, which we will wholeheartedly support. But as a company, this is our primary goal for now. We’ll see if it pivots in the future, but not until, at least in my opinion, I feel a bit more satisfied with the standard of business in the industry that we’re in.”
Anys has been a vocal proponent of work-life balance and avoiding burnout in an industry known for wreaking havoc on even the most successful producers, who might find themselves tethered to an algorithmic grindstone, churning out content incessantly.
RTS will focus on “creators we believe in,” offering career advice and connections while also easing the burden on artists who frequently feel obligated to do it all, according to Anys.
“Essentially, we would come in and help them on every front of the creator business from optimizing your work-life balance to organizing your financials, which I am pretty sure a lot of streamers tend to leave on the back burner,” Anys said. “(Also) just building out a team of people that you can delegate even small, mundane tasks to can end up really, really, really alleviating the stress on your shoulders and allowing you to do what you do best, which is just streaming, creating content, making other people happy.”
RTS consults with brands in esports and beyond, in addition to guiding creators. The Evolution Championship Series, also known as Evo, is an esports tournament that the firm owns and runs with Sony. It also collaborates with Epic Games and Facebook on the Fortnite World Cup.