Baker McKenzie is advising Swedish esports company Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) on its merger with Chinese esports group ESV5 and on the establishment of NIP Group, a global organization that will field teams in all the major esports titles.
This transaction is in line with NIP's strategy of becoming the first truly global esports organization. According to the company's announcement, NIP Group will continue to look for growth opportunities (both organically and via acquisitions), as well as equity capital raising opportunities.
NIP is best known for its Counter-Strike teams, and it has fielded rosters across multiple titles including VALORANT, Rainbow Six: Siege, and FIFA. ESV5 is a joint venture by Chinese esports programs eStar Gaming and Victory Five, and it is backed by DouYu and Qihoo 360, among other investors.
As a result of this merger, NIP will re-enter the competitive League of Legends play in 2022 with Victory Five — owned by the ESV5 group — to be rebranded as Ninjas in Pyjamas and continue competing in the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), the premiere Chinese League of Legends competitions. The same procedure will also be enacted for League of Legends: Wild Rift.
The Baker McKenzie team is being led by Partner Tracy Wut (M&A, Hong Kong), with support from Partners Joakim Falkner (Capital Markets, Stockholm), Anna Orlander (M&A, Stockholm), Linnea Back (Tax, Stockholm), Adam Farlow (Capital Markets, London), Associate Erik Holmgren in Stockholm, and Counsel Lei Ye of FenXun Partners in Shanghai.