Reports are circulating that major changes have come to one of esports’ most enduring organizations.
Reuters is reporting that Ninjas in Pyjamas and ESV5 have merged together via equity swap, with the intent of the new business entity being to find space listed on NASDAQ. If true, this organization would become the first publicly traded esports organization in the United States. Other esports organizations are publicly traded abroad, with the most notable example being Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends brand Astralis.
Sweden’s Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP), one of the world’s best-known esports teams, has merged with a Chinese counterpart to form a new entity.
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The deal is moving forward and the company may be listed on NASDAQ by the end of 2021. It is unclear whether this will mean a major rebranding for Ninjas in Pyjamas and ESV5’s various teams, or if they will all be brought under the same banner. Neither company has commented on the matter as of this writing.
Ninjas in Pyjamas is one of esports’ most enduring organizations, with a history dating back more than 20 years. The organization is best known for its legendary teams from across multiple Counter-Strike titles, and also sponsors teams across a long list of other major titles including the reigning Rainbow Six Siege world champions.
ESV5 is the parent company of League of Legends team Ultra Prime, formerly known as eStar Gaming. Ultra Prime competes in the top Chinese LoL league, the LPL. It also works with the Guangzhou Charge of the Overwatch League, sponsoring its academy team named UP Academy. ESV5 has financial backing from a number of prominent Chinese tech companies, including streaming site DouYu.
As part of a recent report, Reuters stated that Ninjas in Pyjamas and ESV5 have a projected combined revenue of more than $61 million. It is unclear how much of that value comes from each company, but that tally is certainly a marked increase over the estimates of NiP’s annual revenue that were closer to $2 million in 2016.