After three years, Ninjas in Pyjamas is making a comeback in League of Legends in the League of Legends Pro League. The European organization announced on Tuesday that it will make its return to League of Legends in a merger with Chinese esports group ESV5. The move was first reported by Reuters on July 9 and includes a franchise spot for Ninjas in Pyjamas in the LPL for 2022.
— Ninjas in Pyjamas 🇸🇪 (@NIP) August 10, 2021
ESV5 is one of the largest Chinese esports organizations and the owner of LPL team Victory Five. It boasts Chinese streaming site DouYu and anti-virus company Qihoo 360 as two of its most notable investors. NiP, based in Sweden, is one of the most historic European esports organizations, known for its success in Counter-Strike.
As part of the terms of the deal, Victory Five will rebrand to Ninjas in Pyjamas starting in 2022. The organization will also field a roster in Riot Games’ popular mobile MOBA, League of Legends: Wild Rift. V5 ended the LPL 2021 Summer Split at the bottom of the standings in 17th place without picking up a single series win against any other team. This is the second winless split from the organization within the past two years, their last winless season was the 2020 spring split.
Currently, NiP fields rosters in competitive esports titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, VALORANT and Rainbow Six Siege. In a video discussing the merger, NiP Group CEO Hicham Chahin detailed the organization’s vision for the move.
“We have built a legacy, a successful history within Counter-Strike, now recently with the success we’ve seen in Rainbow Six as the world champions,” Chahine said. “What this deal allows us to do is to take a gigantic step towards becoming truly global.”
NiP last competed in League of Legends was 2018, where the organization qualified for EU Masters and place second in the tournament. The last time NiP fielded a League team within a major region was 2017 in the European League of Legends Championship Series after reentering the league from relegation.