Ninjas in Pyjamas completes ESV5 merger; forms NIP Group

10 January 2023


(ESI Illustration) Image credit: NIP Group

Swedish esports and gaming organisation Ninjas in Pyjamas has completed its merger with Chinese digital sports group ESV5 E-SPORT GROUP CO., forming a new entity called NIP Group.

The merger will see the Group enter the Chinese market and officially join the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) this year. The Group will also operate a number of support businesses in events and entertainment production.

The merger was first announced in the summer of 2021, however due to the scale of the deal, it has only just been completed now. The merger was concluded through an equity share swap. Financial details were not disclosed.

As a part of the merger, the Group has announced some leadership appointments. ESV5’s Mario Ho will act as the Group’s Chairman and co-CEO. Meanwhile, NIP’s Hicham Chahine has also been announced as a co-CEO. Alongside the new positions, Ho and Chahine will keep their positions as CEO of ESV5 and NIP, respectively.

The newly founded entity will now operate a large number of esports teams and franchises, as well as other brands, including content production and talent companies. ESV5 is the owner of MAG Studio, an event production company, as well as the esports talent agency eStar Entertainment. These companies will join Shinobi, NIP’s venture with Aser Ventures focused on helping sports teams enter esports.

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ESV5 currently operates two esports teams: eStar Gaming and Victory Five. The latter will be rebranded to Ninjas in Pyjamas for the upcoming LPL season, and keep the current roster and management.

Mario Ho, co-CEO of NIP Group, commented: “ESV5 and NIP have been in contact and discussions since 2020, and we are delighted about the union.

“NIP has been an esports brand for over 20 years with very high-quality brand assets which helps us in our commitment to become a more popular and valuable global digital sports group. Both parties will fully realise the complementary advantages and resource sharing and fully open the international layout of NIP Group.”

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.