Ninjas in Pyjama (NIP Group) Chief Operating Officer Jonas Gundersen announced Monday that he is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Gundersen joined the NIP group in January 2020 as chief operation officer, and—after spending three years in that role—was promoted to Group COO of Western Operations in January 2023. NIP Group Director of Esports Erik Wendel will take over Gundersen’s role.
In a LinkedIn post, Gundersen talked about the exponential growth NIP has seen since he joined in 2020, and how he is still interested in working in the esports scene as part of a new venture:
When I first joined Hicham Chahine at NIP in 2020, we were 10 people and 2 teams in a co-working space out of Stockholm. 4 years later, we are 300+ employees, 16+ teams, 5 offices worldwide and have merged with Chinese ESV5 becoming the NIP Group, a truly global esports organization. All of this through COVID and an even tougher global business climate to follow. Definitely not for the faint of hearted, but what a fantastic ride of both personal and business growth it’s been. I am genuinely thankful to all the awesome employees, players, coaches, backroom staff and partners I have been fortunate to work with. It’s been nothing but a pleasure being on the journey with everyone, and I know that the great people now in place, will lift everything to new heights. ❤️
So with that in order, the timing feels right for me to hand over the controls, and head for the next chapter in my career.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for 15+ years, as a founder, executive operator, and startup employee. The desire to create, solve problems and bring people together is deeply rooted in my DNA, and shaping the future of esports is one of the most enjoyable challenges of my career. Building in public, with millions of fans watching, and navigating a complex ecosystem of stakeholders, adds a new layer of difficulty to scaling globally that I thoroughly love. The ever-changing landscape of entertainment, sports, performance, tech, and gaming creates the perfect growth environment – and I am definitely not done creating in this space.
Esports has never been in a more exciting time, with disruptive shifts on the horizon across the whole sector, opening up incredible growth opportunities for value creation across every stakeholder involved in our ecosystem. Whether it’s teams, athletes, federations, governments, tournament organizers, commercial brands, publishers, suppliers or technology providers – now is the time to truly build common understanding and take everything to the next level, giving esports the foundation it deserves to last the next 100 years.
My next move involves driving impact and creating value across a variety of entities, and while I can’t reveal too much just yet, 2024 is already filled with inspiring travels, people and projects. I am genuinely excited about all the positive and ambitious vibes out there, and I feel more than ever, that the future of esports looks incredibly bright. More on that soon.
Gundersen has held executive leadership roles at such companies as Copenhagen-based North Esports, Famly, Aftercloud, and Graduateland, among others. But he might be better known for his time as a professional poker player (a profession he spent more than three years in), and as a professional Counter-Strike 1.6 player at SK Gaming for nearly five years.
Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) and Chinese esports company eStar Gaming Victory Five (ESV5) completed a merger in October 2021, becoming a new entity called NIP Group, with the Victory Five brand replaced by NIP in China related to its League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and Wild Rift teams.