Swedish esports organisation Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) has partnered with Premier League football club Leeds United.
Exact terms of the agreement are yet to be disclosed. However, the partnership will concern FIFA esports and the annual ePremier League.
“This partnership with Leeds is an exciting milestone for Ninjas in Pyjamas,” said Hicham Chahine, Ninjas in Pyjamas CEO. “Our iconic clubs share similar histories of transformation and core values when fighting our way back to the top of our sports.
“We looked for a Premier club with an ownership that was ready to go deep into esports — with the ambition of making an impact, integrating efforts on sports performance, fan activation and commercialisation. We are very thrilled about this FIFA journey together. Keep your eyes open for more exciting announcements in the upcoming weeks.”
According to NiP, more details on the partnership will be released soon.
Each year participating FIFA players, often signed to esports orgs, choose one Premier League club to represent in the tournament on a one-off basis. This season will be the first time Leeds has participated in the annual ePremier League, having been promoted to the Premier League from the EFL Championship last season.
The current ePremier League champion is Tom Leese, who represented Watford (Leese currently plays for esports organisation Hashtag United).
Paul Bell, Leeds United Executive Director, said: “Promotion to the Premier League has given the club some amazing opportunities so far, with involvement in the ePremier League the latest chance for the club to grow and impress.
“Just as Marcelo [Bielsa] has done with the men’s first team, we intend on making our presence in the league known and being competitive straight away. Creating a partnership with NiP will give us a fantastic foundation to do so. Bring it on.”
Esports Insider says: It’s hard to pass judgement on the partnership without knowing its exact terms. No one is denying, however, that the two organisations are iconic in their respective fields, which should foster plenty of intrigue. We’ve seen Wolves — another Premier League club — become increasingly active in esports recently, and Leeds has in the past dabbled in esports with Vexed Gaming. The partnership is perhaps indicative of both NiP’s appreciation for Leeds the football club, as well as Leeds’ appreciation of the esports industry generally.