NIP Disband EU Valorant Roster and Move to LATAM

Published: Nov 3, 2021

Here’s something we don’t get to see every day. The Swedish esports organisation Ninjas In Pyjamas have just announced they’ll be benching their entire European Valorant roster and moving into the LATAM region.

The current EU Valorant squad will be disbanded and each player will head their own separate way. It’s certainly a bizarre twist that none of us expected to see from Ninjas in Pyjamas, but from a business standpoint it does make a lot of sense for the company.

Red Bull Home Ground #2 will be the final Valorant event this team will compete in together, at least under NIP’s banner. Once that’s done, it’s every man for himself.

Image Credits | NiP

Building a New HQ in Brazil

Ninjas in Pyjamas have been successful across multiple esports titles for many years. They’ve achieved great results with their CS:GO squad in Europe, but it was their Brazilian Rainbow Six: Siege team that stole the show this year.

This team won the biggest Rainbow Six tournament, Six Invitational 2021, and also finished first in Copa Elite Six – Season 2021: Stage 2. Clearly, this brought much attention to NiP and gained them a huge number of new followers, especially from Latin America.

The NiP COO, Jonas Gundersen, said the following:

“Brazil is like our second home and after some great talks with Riot and the community down there, it became an obvious move for us to move our full Valorant operation. We’ll have an even stronger foothold in LATAM by building out a new HQ and further investing in bringing NIP entertainment to the fans. The rich FPS history in the country and the raw talent base of players is impossible to overlook, and we are so excited to bring both the Young Ninjas academy and main team philosophies to the region, to create championship winning teams. It truly is the beginning of a long journey for us down there.”

NiP plans on building a new foothold in Brazil where they’ll form a new Valorant squad. It is still unclear whether they’ll compete in the LATAM region or Brazil, as the two regions have separate Valorant events. What they’ll certainly do is take their time and try to acquire the best Valorant players from the region.

What Will Change for NiP Valorant

“What does NiP stand to gain from this?” is the first question that pops to mind when looking at the current NiP situation in Valorant.

Well, considering how ambitious they are, it’s safe to assume they’re looking for a fresh start in a less crowded region, but with great potential. The EU region is pretty much on par with the NA Valorant region, and both of those are highly competitive. In such an environment, NiP will have trouble thriving.

However, once they move to the LATAM region, they’ll instantly become one of the most recognizable brands and players will flock to them.

The NiP COO, Jonas Gundersen, said:

“Building rosters in a new game is hard, and for us it’s been no different. We’ve been in Valorant from the beginning because we love what it brings to the table, but have been unable to unlock the potential of the game both from a performance and engagement standpoint. We wanted a foundation that we could invest in long term, allowing us to allocate big resources and innovation. Our current EU positioning isn’t good enough for our ambitions.”

Although NiP will most certainly have an easier time in LATAM compared to EU, and there’s a good chance they’ll manage to take all the trophies in the next season, the question remains whether that will be due to them getting better as a team or the region simply being weaker.

Regardless, it’s a smart move from a company standpoint. Not only will they have a great shot to dominate the region now that there’s no EU teams to stop them, but they will have an easier time qualifying for the Masters and other major events in Valorant Champions Tour.

Image Credits | NiP

Did NiP Open Pandora’s Box?

NiP’s move to Brazil and their switch from EU to LATAM is a great business move. It will generate a lot more opportunities for them in Valorant, but might also impact the region as well.

Having a brand such as NiP arriving in LATAM will cause worry for other teams in the region. Everyone will have to step up their game now in order to keep up with all the changes that will most likely follow. On the other hand, we might see a similar scenario to the NA Valorant region where Sentinels were dominating for the entire year. NiP could become the new kings of LATAM Valorant esports.

But what’s more worrying is that other teams will start doing the same thing – leaving a region that’s overpopulated and super competitive, and move to a region with way less competition. It could pay off in the long term. But this is a bit of a stretch and it’s doubtful many organisations would opt for this. NiP had previous ties with the LATAM region so their transition will be easier.

All in all, this was an interesting turn of events for NiP. We can’t wait to see what team they’ll form in the coming months, and also what’ll happen to their previous EU squad that’s currently benched. Hopefully they’ll find a new home soon.

Denis Alihodzic

Since: March 1, 2021

Freelance writer with a passion for gaming and esports. Loves a good old-school RPG, and enjoys spending time with his dogs.

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