Loaded Buys GG Talent, a Gaming Talent Agency

March 28, 2024 by  Chris Erwin

RockWater Roundup

RockWater analysis to make you a better investor and operator. Today we discuss Loaded’s purchase of GG Talent, and why this deal is about near-term resilience and long-term opportunity.

Loaded bought GG Talent, a gaming talent agency

I think this deal is about near-term resilience + LT opportunity. 

Let’s break it down…


🎯TARGET: GG Talent Group

  • Gaming talent and social agency
  • Cofounded 2020 by Eric Harper and Angela Harper (past IM strategist and event planner)
  • Eric started as a Twitch streamer in 2014, and hosting tournaments in 2018
  • Reps 90+ gaming creator + other clients across Twitch, YouTube, TikTok
  • Talent services → brand sponsorships + advisory on platform syndication, audience growth, building prod teams, access to data / analytics
  • Brand services → IM, tournaments & events, livestream campaigns 
  • Charges 20% for sourced sponsorships, 15% for direct talent inbounds
  • Roster generated 172M watch time hours on Twitch in 2023 (2nd highest)
  • “Hundreds of brand clients, thousands of IM campaigns”
  • 6 to 10 team members, per LinkedIn
  • TBD 2023 revenue, I estimate low 8 figures in gross bookings


💰BUYER: Loaded

  • Gaming talent mgmt co and social agency
  • Founded 2016 by Brandon Feytag
  • Part of 3-way merger in 2018 to form esports and gaming co Popdog, has since separated
  • Services incl commercial and partnership support, merchandising / licensing, platform negotiations, and content mgmt and dev
  • Reps 35 gaming creator clients, did 278M Twitch watch time hours (1st highest)
  • OpenWorld is consultancy and production arm for game devs and brands like Spotify, Capitol Records, Samsung, Activision, Gillette, Amazon
  • FanDX tool offers digital community measurement and mgmt
  • 25 to 50 team members, per LinkedIn



  • Price and term undisclosed
  • Loaded’s 1st acquisition after $20M Series A in 2022



  • Combines 2 gaming rep co’s with largest client watch time on Twitch
  • “Be the gold standard in gaming entertainment”
  • Better “serve game devs and publishers with more comprehensive campaigns”
  • Adds demo diversity to Loaded roster (particularly females)
  • Revenue synergies from cross-selling brand clients across larger talent roster
  • P&L synergies to improve sustainability during near-term gaming mkt headwinds, but also positions for LT growth and differentiation VS as competition grows



  • Each company “will retain their brand presence, and combine their experience, reputation and talent offerings for anyone looking to enter or extend their footprint in the gaming industry”
  • 2 GG co-founders will continue overseeing GG org, as well as driving new revenue and best practices for Loaded


📝A note on GG Talent financials…

Deal terms weren’t disclosed. Some back of the envelope math…

Based on talent roster size / type and team size, I estimate GG Talent’s gross bookings (pre talent share) to be low 8 figures. Net revenue is 15-20% based on their publicly listed take rate, and then based on peer agency precedent, OPEX is usually 40-60% of net revenue. 

That results in an EBITDA margin of 10-20%, which is likely in the low 7 figures range for GG. Now, a lot of gaming companies and agencies over invested in their teams during the esports hype, which hurt profitability as revenue growth slowed, resulting in negative margins when cost structures were upside down. 

I don’t know how much GG was impacted here, but makes me curious about their revenue and profit growth over past few years. Were they growing or flatlining?

Based on some recent gaming headwinds, but the fact that gaming LT is still an attractive market, this feels like a deal to combine 2 top gaming reps / social agencies to better compete with large Hollywood talent agencies, as well as other scaled gaming firms, who are increasingly focused on gaming creators and the brands who want to target their audiences. 

This therefore could have been a deal with little cash changed hands upfront. Because GG talent is maintaining their brand identity, an earnout was likely a large component of deal. Further, GG owners Eric and Angela may (or should have) have received equity in the Loaded parent co, so that they’re incented to also help Loaded grow while continuing their day jobs at GG. 


🎮Some esports and gaming merger history about Loaded…

In 2018 Loaded was part of 3-way merger to form Popdog, a “digital-services company specializing in esports and game-focused online streaming”. Included Loaded, esports division of ​brand advisor Catalyst​ Sports & Media; and NoScope, an analytics platform focused on Twitch’s live-streaming data. The merged company raised a $9M Series A for tech, services and product development.  

But that initiative seemed focused on esports during its hype cycle. But with esports facing major headwinds in past couple years, Loaded separated from the merger in 2022, which was also the same timing as their $20M Series A raise. 

I’m not sure if all of Loaded’s business was part of the Popdog newco, or they just contributed assets, but their pull-out in 2022 plus new capital injection seems like a smart play in retrospect. Of note, Loaded’s current CEO Josh Swartz was the cofounder of Catalyst, and served as the COO of Popdog. 


🤔What else I find interesting…

Loaded’s $20M warchest from the 2022 fundraise came with a mandate to target acquisitions in the data and analytics sector of gaming. With no acquisitions other than GG since 2022, curious where they’re focused next…

Loaded helped to spearhead the livestream platform wars back in 2020, when they did a deal with gaming client Ninja to bring him to Microsoft’s Mixer platform, and away from Twitch. Mixer shut down just 6 months later.

GG Talent saw industry trend about lack of benefits for creators. So any US-based creator on GG roster is eligible for group-rate, high-quality health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits. GG Talent pays 50% of premium.



I’m the founder of RockWater Industries. We do financial and strategy advisory for media, agencies, and creator economy. From M&A and fundraising to consumer research and go-to-market planning.

DM me on LinkedIn or email me chris @ wearerockwater dot com

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