Swedish esports organisation Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) has announced a merger with the Chinese esports brand ESV5, creating ‘NIP Group‘ in the process.
As a result of the merger, Ninjas in Pyjamas will return to League of Legends by joining Riot Games’s Chinese franchised league, the LPL.
Since being founded in 2000, Ninjas in Pyjamas has fielded rosters across multiple titles, such as VALORANT, Rainbow Six: Siege and FIFA. The organisation is largely known for its Counter-Strike team. Moreover, Ninjas in Pyjamas fielded a European League of Legends team from 2013 to 2018.
ESV5 is a joint venture by two Chinese esports organisations, eStar Gaming and Victory Five.
The merger sees LPL team Victory Five be rebranded as Ninjas in Pyjamas for the 2022 season. The Chinese League of Legends team finished bottom of the 2021 LPL Summer Split with a 0-16 record.
According to the announcement, the same procedure will also be applied for League of Legends: Wild Rift.
Ninjas in Pyjamas also noted on its website that the merger is ‘bigger than anything they’ve ever done’, and that the ultimate goal is to become a ‘truly global esports organisation’.
Alongside reporting the possible merger in July, Reuters claimed that there’s a possibility for the new company to be listed on NASDAQ.
Esports Insider says: This is huge news for both NiP and the esports world. The potential of the Chinese market is huge, and the Swedish organisation seems to know what it’s doing. After a recent Asia-centric rebrand, the company is now one of the larger players in the region.