Ninjas in Pyjamas returning to LoL through Victory Five merger

Kenneth Williams • August 10, 17:51

With influence stretching from Stockholm to Shanghai, the most iconic organization in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one step closer to world domination.

Swedish esports icon Ninjas in Pyjamas will merge with Chinese esports conglomerate ESV5. The deal will allow for NiP to compete in China’s top league of Legends league, the LPL, for the first time. The new company aims to become publicly traded by the end of 2021, joining a handful of other esports organizations.

ESV5 is a Wuhan-based esports company that owns both eStar Gaming and Victory Five, two prominent Chinese esports brands. Its parent company is also an owner of DouYu, the most popular streaming service in China. The Victory Five LPL roster will be renamed to Ninjas in Pyjamas to commemorate the partnership. NiP have a complicated history with competitive League of Legends. The brand’s most recent tenure in Riot’s MOBA ended in late 2018.

The Victory Five roster went 0-16 during the 2021 LPL summer split. The roster will likely change before adopting the NiP moniker next season. It is unclear what other teams sponsored by eStar gaming and Victory Five may be rebranded to Ninjas in Pyjamas.

This move has far-reaching implications for the future of Ninjas in Pyjamas. Between the company’s recent rebranding and its moves to shake off the effects of a controversial 2019, NiP is now a prominent player in the Chinese esports scene. Ninjas in Pyjamas’ current Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valorant, FIFA, and Rainbow Six Siege teams will keep their current branding.

Perhaps most importantly, Ninjas in Pyjamas could become a publicly traded company by the end of this year. ESV5 has declared their intent to release an initial public offering on the NASDAQ by the end of 2021. That would make NiP the first esports team to be publicly traded. Esports has grown closer and closer to the finance world in 2021, both through partnerships with cryptocurrency companies or the creation of exchange-traded funds. If NiP really does debut on a stock exchange, expect other esports companies to quickly follow suit.

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