True success can only be defined by one’s own terms. James Paul Baratta graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and later earned a Juris Doctor Degree from the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California. Being a successful litigation attorney for six years, one could argue that there is nothing more to ask for. Still, James found that being in a fancy courtroom did not give him as much fulfillment as he sought.
At that point in time, a career change is almost ridiculous to consider, and it implicated uprooting himself from the stability he enjoyed to begin anew in less stable ground. It is daunting, and many would not dare. Still, James Paul Baratta found greater joy in what was just a hobby before, and so he took a leap of faith, left his practice, and went on to pursue what he loved most: video games.
The year 2017 was when Icebreakers Clan, stylized as ICEBRKRSCLAN, was founded by James Paul Baratta and his partners, Anthony Morgan and Krishna Sani. The group is a gaming community with the tagline, “Where gamers become friends.” Besides providing a platform where video game enthusiasts can access live streams, discussions, and cooperative and competitive games, it serves a greater purpose: to become a vehicle where they can mentor youth interested in gaming.
Gaming is a world unifier, and it is an activity that is enjoyed in many ages across all cultures. Especially given the global transition from the real world to the digital, even the older population is becoming tech-savvy and more open to technology-based activities, including video gaming. ICEBRKRSCLAN boasts of a network of content creators who can access a downstream audience of over 2 million across various platforms.
The North American Collegiate League, or NACL, is a non-profit collegiate esports league that James Paul Baratta founded alongside FaZe Clan seed investor Dave Chen. With a partnership with Huomai, the Asian streaming giant, each monthly tournament yields over 1.5 million viewers. The league has become so successful, in fact, that it landed a two-series television deal, features in Forbes and Yahoo Finance, and high-profile partners, including Sports 1 Marketing’s David Meltzer, Samling’s Lawrence Chia, and 3 Commas Clothing’s Mark Cuban.
Recently, the former attorney began his tenure as a professor at the University of California Irvine, where he teaches various esports courses. Many young gamers desire the opportunity to pursue gaming in an advanced setting. The very-recent acknowledgment of esports as a professional field is a step towards the dreams of many.
James Paul Baratta has been a gamer since childhood, and he has an incredible passion for esports. While leaving a stable, well-earning career in law to pursue a much more adventurous career in esports has been daunting, the result is definitely worth the risk. Like James, many are unfulfilled in their “successful” professions, and he serves as an inspiration to go where your heart goes. It may be a risk, but finally getting to where you are meant to be is well worth it.
Connect with James Paul Baratta on his LinkedIn.