UTA is continuing its expansion, entering the realm of esports through the acquisition of sister companies Press X and Everyday Influencers.

Press X is an esports talent and marketing agency, while Everyday Influencers is a management company representing streamers.

With the acquisitions, UTA will launch an esports group which will include more than 90 esports athletes and streamers, including League of Legends stars Aphromoo and sOAZ. The roster also includes streamers Imaqtpie, Pokimane and Disguised Toast, among others.

Press X and Everyday Influencers co-founder Damon Lau will head the new unit and report to UTA Games head Ophir Lupu and UTA Ventures head Sam Wick.

Over the past few months, the agency has acquired Circle Talent Agency, an electronic music specialist, as well as the Greater Talent Network, an influential speaker bureau operator. It bought news and unscripted power N.S. Bienstock and independent music booker The Agency Group in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

While competitors have jumped into the esports market, UTA said it will be the only talent and entertainment company representing both esports talent and streamers, in addition to game developers. The sector is growing rapidly — Twitch users have already logged over 2 billion hours of viewed content in the first quarter of 2018 alone, and analysts see the esports industry reaching $1.5 billion in value by 2020.

Ophir Lupu
(Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

“As we identify and adopt early trends within the digital ecosystem, we recognized that the acquisition of Press X and Everyday Influencers would be a forward-looking opportunity for us,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. “The gaming sector is projected to reach over $135B this year and esports and streaming are critical components of any strategy for growth. For UTA, these categories are complementary to our existing gaming practice and our business overall.”

UTA Games has advised on more than $350 million in transactions and has a deep roster, including creators of games such as Bioshock: InfiniteThe Last Guardian and many more. The game plan is for that roster to plug into the expertise in digital marketing and branded content development at Press X and Everyday Influencers.

“Our agency represents an amazing roster of talent that truly personify the best of the esports community and streaming culture,” Lau said. “With UTA’s vast resources and track record of establishing talent in entertainment and music, we are thrilled to lead this seismic change in the industry and to drive the convergence of games, sports and culture.”

Negotiating for UTA were entertainment partner David Eisman and associate Allison Hunter of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Ned Sherman at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips negotiated on behalf of Press X and Everyday Influencers.