Ninjas In Pyjamas (NIP) is the latest esports organization to enter the professional Rocket League landscape with the signing of Brazilian players AZTROMICK, Bemmz, and CAiOTG1, who will compete in the South American (SAM) region of the Rocket League Championship Series.
Founded in 2000, the Swedish organization is a mainstay in the top tier of professional CounterStrike, and best known for dominating the early years of CS:GO. Ninjas in Pyjamas also currently fields a FIFA pro and a successful, all-Brazilian Rainbow Six: Siege roster.
While the organization itself is Swedish, their new Rocket League roster represents a further commitment to passionate Brazilian esports fans. Ninjas in Pyjamas COO Jonas Gundersen, surely feeling the support behind their Siege team, even mentions Brazil specifically in a statement: “Our presence in Brazil makes this team a perfect fit, and it feels fantastic bringing the NIP brand in front of Rocket League fans.”
The team’s cinematic announcement video aims to rally the country behind Rocket League as a game that “unites the two greatest passions of the Brazilian people,” referring to motor racing and soccer. CS:GO is already a massively popular esport in Brazil, and NIP’s strong brand may have enough weight to pull fans towards Rocket League.
Invoking Brazilian legends like Pelé and Ayrton Senna in a team announcement video is bold, but the roster of AZTROMICK, Bemmz, and CAiOTG1 are an ambitious trio who have already made noise in the Rocket League world on their previous teams.
AZTROMICK and Bemmz come from The Club, who swept all three Fall South American Regionals and completed a 17-match win streak while suffocating their opponents with a full-court press so relentless that RLCS caster Gregan dubbed them the “fastest team in Rocket League.” However, the duo will surely miss their former teammate Lostt, whose supernatural ability to predict opponents’ next touch generated many of the team’s scoring opportunities.
Rocket League veteran CAiOTG1 joins the duo from Furia after a season of middling results in the North American region, but previously dominated the SAM region with the same squad. CaioTG1 has played in the RLCS since the inclusion of SAM, and his vast experience will complement the aggression and mechanical ability of his new teammates. The NIP roster has little time to get used to playing together, as their first test is the South American Winter Open, beginning January 27.
It’s encouraging to see such a storied esports organization invest into Rocket League, but the true test will be to see how long they stick around. Massive orgs have previously come and gone from the RLCS, including Cloud9, mousesports, and FNATIC. With no shortage of Brazilian Rocket League talent or passionate fans, Ninjas in Pyjamas are set to challenge for SAM’s top spot for seasons to come.