About Me

After 6 years as an attorney, I created FT Empire LLC in 2018. I became a consultant for companies looking to expand into esports, video games, and the metaverse. Through FT Empire, I educated nonendemic clients on ecosystem nuances. I represented my mentor in a series of deals with FaZe Clan, and for the Travis Scott x Fortnite event Astronomical. I also consulted on gaming projects for entertainment properties represented by a prestigious Beverly Hills Entertainment Law Firm, where I was able to work with platinum selling rappers YBN Nahmir, Chief Keef, and 21 Savage. I spent 2019 working with FaZe Clan seed investor Dave Chen where we co-founded the North American Collegiate League. That same year, Gen.G’s Chris Park and Skillz’s Kent Wakeford introduced me to start-up developer Wizard Labs, where I grew Wizard’s userbase to over 250,000 members, and oversaw all new hires, UX, and business development opportunities.

In 2020, VY Esports retained FT Empire to create: UPROXX EDGE in partnership with GameStop and American Eagle. I sourced all participants, created a run of show, and produced the live event alongside an amazing creative and production team. Shortly thereafter, I began teaching a collegiate esports business course, part-time, at the University of California Irvine. U.C. Irvine honored me in December 2022 with their award of distinction for my role as an educator and advisory board member. To cap off my strong 2020, FT Empire contracted with ad agency Fallen Media - where I created a gaming vertical to their social media empire. I also invested in the seed round for lifestyle brand and tier 1 esports org XSET, and became an advisor for the Esportz Network, a Reuters syndicated news outlet.

In 2021, my mentor and friend Paul “The Profit” Dawalibi of Holodeck Ventures asked for my help. I was tasked to run a media business as its head. I continue to work for Holodeck today as Chief Operating Officer. I oversee day to day administrative and operational functions of business through our offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Dubai. I oversee our social media department, executive produce all programming, and lead business development efforts where I brought on partners including CNBC, Assouline, ComicCon, SnapChat, GymShark, CryptoBahamas, HyperX, Next World Forum, Assouline, PwC’s Henri Arslanian, and many more!

Instagram: @JIMBODANKS

Join 30,000+ others who support my gaming content. I mostly post FPS gameplay and random memes, but have been known to dabble in Fortnite, Call of Duty, Fall Guys, Valorant, and more.

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YouTube @JimmyBaratta

I try my best to regularly upload YouTube shorts and long form content of the various panels, live streams, interviews, and hottakes I record each week.

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George R.R. Martin once said, “a reader lives 1,000 lifetimes.” A gamer does that and more.

Over the years, I have lived through my favorite characters such as Nathan Drake, Commander Shepard, and Ezio Auditore. Whether it was a FPS like Halo, or an MMO-RPG like World of Warcraft, video games have always taken a hold of me. When you end up buying Drew Karpyshyn’s Mass Effect and Star Wars novels, you realize this isn’t a hobby, it’s your calling...and when you drop $20 on a skin in Fortnite... that’s when you realize you may have a problem.

"To be truly happy I need to immerse myself in the only industry I care to live, die, and respawn in."