Swedish esports organization Ninjas in Pyjamas have completed a merger that will see them compete in the LPL, the premier League of Legends competition in China.
Following earlier reports, it has been confirmed that Ninjas in Pyjamas have completed a deal with Chinese esports group ESV5 to create a new entity: NIP Group.
As part of the finalized agreement, the veteran esports brand will expand into new titles. This will start with the LPL, as ESV5’s Victory Five brand will be replaced in the competition from 2022.
Though not formally announced at the time of publication, it was previously reported that the deal between the two companies would see the new entity become publicly listed on the NASDAQ by the end of 2021.
Ninjas in Pyjamas ushered in a new era in January 2021 when they announced their new branding and team colours to a mixed reception from fans and industry figures alike. Their CEO Hicham Chahine described the redesign as “crucial” to the future of the org, at the time of announcement.
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They will also incorporate a League of Legends: Wild Rift team as part of the deal, according to Forbes’ interview with Chahine regarding the business move.
ESV5 themselves are a result of a joint venture between two organizations, namely eStar Gaming (now known as Ultra Prime) and Victory Five. They also own esports venues in Shenzhen and Wuhan, as well as streaming platform DouYu, and anti-virus company Qihoo 360.
Ninjas in Pyjamas’ return to League of Legends comes after their most recent stint in the Riot Games title back in 2018. They signed a roster for the European Masters in April and subsequently released the players in early October.