After a few years of absence in the League of Legends pro scene, Ninjas in Pyjamas, or NIP, are returning the game. While they never became a big team in the LEC, which at the time was called EU LCS, NIP are a legendary brand in other esports, especially CSGO and Rainbow six. They have purchased the spot of Victory Five, joining the LPL, the Chinese pro scene in League of Legends. Victory Five, or V5, just finished their summer split winless, finishing 0:16. This is the second time in the orgs history that they finished the season without any wins. It is very likely that V5 will fully rebrand as NIP, changing their name, their logo and most probably their roster.
A bit more about Ninjas in Pyjamas
As mentioned above, NIP had a brief passage in League of Legends before. They participated in the 2013 Summer Split of the EU LCS, but failed to requalify for spring 2014. Participating in the challengers series at the time, they would try and fail, to return to the main league for Summer of 2014. They disbanded shortly after.
NIP returned in 2017. They purchased the spot of Fnatic Academy to participate in the 2017 EU LCS Summer Split. This time, they had an even worse performance than their previous stay, finishing in dead last with a 2:11 record. Relegated to participate in the European Masters for 2018, it didn’t take long for NIP to disappear from the League of Legends scene again.
NIP in other Esports
While their adventures in League of Legends haven’t been the most successful, the same can’t be said for their Counter-Strike team. The name Ninjas in Pyjamas is synonymous with Counter-Strike, as few other orgs dominated the scene as much as NIP did. The image to the left is from NIP’s victory in the 2017 DreamHack in Valencia.
The Ninjas don’t dominate just the CSGO scene. In more recent times, they’ve started dominating the Rainbow Six scene as well. At the Six Invitational 2021, it was Ninjas in Pyjamas that emerged victorious, defeating Team Liquid in the finals.
A bit more about Victory Five
Victory Five are a fairly recent addition to the LPL. Joining the LPL in 2019, during the second year of the franchise era, Victory Five had no history in league prior to joining. While many other teams had a history in the game or at least purchased a team that had a history in the game, Victory Five started from scratch.
That, along with a mediocre roster and results lead Victory Five to becoming one of the least popular teams in the LPL. Their fate seemed sealed in Spring of 2020, when they became the first team in franchise history to finish the split winless, ending 0:16. However, an incredible roster revamp for summer almost led V5 to Worlds, missing out by a narrow margin.
In Spring 2021, V5 returned to being a mediocre team. Despite having mostly the same players, it seemed like a fire had gone out in V5. Once again, they underwent a full revamp of their roster for summer. But this time it went horribly wrong, and they once again ended the split 0:16.
These are fairly unproven waters for both parties involved. This is the first time that a major western org invests in an LPL team. And this is the first time that NIP invest in another region in League, having previously tied themselves to Europe.
It is very likely that NIP will want to change almost all of the current roster, if not all of it. Since the announcement is a recent one, and the transfer window still isn’t open, fans can only speculate. With more changes in store, be sure to stay tuned to TGH for any more updates regarding NIP’s arrival in the LPL.
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