According to ESPN reports, Ninjas in Pyjamas has secured an EU LCS spot having purchased the slot previously owned by Fnatic Academy.
After Fnatic Academy was promoted, the organisation was forced to sell its slot as Fnatic already compete in the LCS. Under Riot rules, an organisation can not have two teams competing in the same division – hence the need for sale. The same applied to Misfits Academy who also got promoted.
The element of surprise is that Ninjas in Pyjamas has decided to keep none of the roster that won promotion to the LCS – meaning that the five that worked so hard to achieve promotion are effectively left without a home. Instead, the team will field SK Telecom T1’s top lane Kim “Profit” Jun-hyung, former Vitality jungler Ilyas “Shook” Hartsema, former KT Rolster mid laner Kim “Nagne” Sang-moon and Giants Gaming AD Carry Martin “HeaQ” Kordmaa. The roster will be rounded off with Hampus “sprattel” Mkael Abrahamsson, according to sources close to Jacob Wolf of ESPN reveal.
It seems a bitter pill to swallow for a roster that worked so hard to make its way up to the CS, only to see their spot relinquished due to ownership rules.
Meanwhile, Ninjas in Pyjamas will be desperate to achieve success with their League of Legends team. Their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad’s struggles have been well documented, with the once imperious roster most recently failing to qualify for even the qualifier for the qualifier of a Major. Similarly, following their re-entry into the Dota 2 scene the brand has seen very little success. Whilst the brand is still strong (especially in CS:GO), the performances on the proverbial pitch are, quite frankly, nothing to write home about. In fact, they’re quite the opposite.
Esports Insider: You have to feel for the Fnatic Academy guys, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles I guess. As we’ve said, NiP will be desperate for this move to work out, as they could do with having success in at least one major title.