An independent report into esports organisation Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) says that while criticism of the company’s former management is justified, complaints levied against current staff is “not fair.” The report from the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) was filed last night in response to a number of claims made about NiP, particularly from former CS:GO player Robin ‘Fifflaren’ Johansson.
Earlier this year, Fifflaren made a number of complaints during an interview with esports journalist Richard Lewis. While ESIC found that Fifflaren’s complaints about payment owed from a tournament in 2013 were valid, it found that several other claims, including the suggestion that players were not allowed to have girlfriends or did not have appropriate documentation, were not accurate.
A number of other complaints were made during the course of the investigation, which you can read in more detail in the official report. The investigation also looked into the alleged involvement in the company of CEO Hicham Chahine before his appointment in 2016, which some believed “is just a continuation of Former Management in style,” and that “nothing has changed at NiP over the last three years.”
ESIC’s report states that “it is crystal clear that HC was not involved in day-to-day management” of NiP prior to 2016, and references the company’s growth over the past four years as a measure of Chahine’s success. The report also states that “my own assessment is that HC saved NiP from bankruptcy in 2016.”
The report concludes by stating that “there is no doubt that the bulk of criticism of NiP from formation of [former management], through its bankruptcy and the early years of [current management] is justified.” However, it also states that it is “ridiculous that justified criticism from 2013 to 2016 can simply be extended to NiP in 2019,” suggesting that the claims have been “a very unbalanced attack” on the organisation.
In a statement this morning, NiP confirmed that the World Esports Association (of which Hicham Chahine is a board member) would not be issuing warnings or sanctions towards the organisation. The statement says that “we are happy to see that the hard work we have carried out since 2016 reconstructing NiP is acknowledged and outlined publicly in the report.”