Swedish esports organisation Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) has joined forces with Dutch independent FIFA academy Team Gullit to launch a new FIFA team called TG.NIP.
The creation of the joint team secures both organisations a spot in the FIFA Global Series Masters programme, which consists of 16 pre-selected teams committing to the circuit. The programme begins with the Team of the Season Cup in April 2022.
The roster features two-time European Champion Levi de Weerd and FUT Champions Cup winner Olle ‘Ollelito’ Arbin.
“We are really excited to partner with NIP,’’ commented Team Gullit Founder, Corné Dubelaar. ‘”We have been working together for almost two years now, ever since ‘Ollelito’ made the transfer from Team Gullit to NIP. When EA announced the FGS Masters programme, it was time to take the co-operation to the next level.
“The creation of TG.NIP allows us to fully focus on developing talent in the Team Gullit academy while having TG.NIP as one of the top-tier teams fighting for trophies in the major tournaments. By pairing Levi and Olle, we have one of the best rosters in the competitive FIFA scene.’’
Team Gullit was founded in 2018 by football veteran and former Ballon d’Or winner, Ruud Gullit, after being inspired by his sons’ love of the sports simulator. Just this year alone, the academy has teamed up with the likes of Ultimo GG, SEIKO Vision, and Samsung.
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FIFA is one of, if not the, most popular esport in the Netherlands. The official FIFA League, the eDivisie, is a joint-partnership between Dutch premiere football league the Eredivisie and DreamHack Sports Games, the later also operates the Swedish eFootball league, eAllsvenskan.
“We go way back with Team Gullit,” commented Jonas Gundersen, COO of NIP. “Having first gotten in touch with them when we were signing Olle. Now that FIFA esports is professionalising, I’m stoked to be deepening our cooperation in response and joining the FGS together, and I expect this relationship to get even closer over time.
“It’s a natural strategic move for us, with NIP alongside our subsidiary Shinobi working towards a very broad FIFA presence.”
Esports Insider says: What may seem to be an unlikely partnership makes perfect sense given the popularity of FIFA esports in the region. Banding together to ensure a seat in the FGS Masters programme is a smart move as both parties hope to walk away with a piece of the pie. As Gunderson mentioned, the deal also fits with NIP’s subsidiary Shinobi Esports. Expect to see some representation of the new team or at least Shinobi’s brand at next summer’s GG DreamHack Sports festival.