Esports Legends Come Together to Launch Popdog, Announce $9 Million in Series A Funding to Optimize the Future of Gaming

Popdog Brings Together Top Talent and Technologies through Uniting Catalyst’s Esports Division, Top Game Influencer Services Company Loaded, and Leading Twitch Analytics Platform NoScope

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Industry Leaders are joining together alongside esports pioneer Alexander Garfield to launch Popdog, a technology and services company developing products designed to help optimize esports and gaming live streaming for brands, publishers, talent, teams, tournaments, and other stakeholders. Garfield, best known for his work in building Evil Geniuses and Alliance simultaneously into global powerhouses, sold the teams’ parent company GoodGame to Twitch in 2014 and is Popdog’s Founder and CEO. He is the winningest individual team owner in esports history by prize money, and the only person to have won The International, esports’ most valuable tournament, twice.

Popdog’s Co-Founders each have headline resumes in their own regards. Fellow esports legend Andreas Thorstensson, Popdog’s CTO and CPO, is a former Counter-Strike world champion who Co-Founded SK Gaming, the most successful esports organization and social platform of its era, and SoGamed, the storied online gaming community; Niles Heron, Popdog’s CSO, is a serial entrepreneur and startup consultant who has taught and mentored at accelerators such as TechStars, Gener8tor and Detroit’s TechTown; and Colin DeShong, Popdog’s CCO, is the former COO of GoodGame, Evil Geniuses, and Alliance, where he was Garfield’s long-time partner. As a whole, the founding team represents the most influential thought leaders across two eras of esports.

Popdog launches with a $9 million Series A funding round led by Makers Fund, with participation by Korea Investment Partners. The company features three initial key components: Loaded — the industry leader in sponsorship sales, creative, and merchandising services for gaming influencers, and NoScope — a best-in-class enterprise Twitch discovery and analytics solution, are both now part of the Popdog ecosystem. Brandon Freytag, Loaded’s Founder, will continue to play a leadership role as Loaded moves to expand its services to the esports vertical and further enrich support for its existing clients. NoScope’s Founders, Justin Malara and Kyle DeWitt, will continue to evolve the product’s data and reporting toolset as it adds new features tailored to the needs of esports and other industry stakeholders. Additionally, the esports division of Catalyst Sports & Media, which was was created to be the preeminent advisory firm to businesses seeking to enter and thrive in the esports industry, is also now part of Popdog. Josh Swartz, Co-Founder of Catalyst Sports & Media, will serve as Popdog’s COO, while key Catalyst esports personnel will join to support the company as it expands services and rolls out new technology.

“We’re building our company around the core belief that esports and gaming video content, born more from technology than any other sports or entertainment verticals we’ve seen, need better technology in order to be properly understood, monetized, and optimized. The industry needs a backend, and our mission is to be that backend by supporting the ecosystem as a whole with a comprehensive offering of technology and services. This funding brings us one step closer to fulfilling that mission,” said Alexander Garfield, Founder and CEO of Popdog. “We’ve already assembled an incredible team of industry leaders, product experts, and esports veterans, and we’re excited to begin rolling out a suite of products that we think will make operating in the space transparent and scalable, as opposed to opaque and speculative.”

“Makers Fund believes gaming influencers will usher a new era of growth and engagement in live, interactive entertainment,” said Jay Chi, Founding Partner of Makers Fund. “Popdog is well positioned to pioneer new methods of engaging users and creating value for influencers and ecosystem stakeholders across the globe.”

This is the first institutional round of funding for Popdog. The funds will be used to support a number of key areas for Popdog, including new hires in technology, services, and product development, helping the company continue to innovate and expand its team and technology offerings for all constituents in gaming and entertainment.

For more information about Popdog, visit