Emil “HeatoN” Christensen was one of the first major eSports stars in North America and Europe, back in the glory days of the older Counter-Strike versions. But now the former professional gamer and former co-owner of Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP), the team with which he first made his name, has ended up in the spotlight for an entirely different reason.
Christensen has been around for an eternity: after winning every Counter-Strike tournament under the sun, he then followed the steps of Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel by branching into product development and promotions.
Christensen has claimed that he acted in good faith and that one of the other former owners of NiP was responsible for the company’s finances. In a pre-trial hearing, one of the other owners reportedly took responsibility but insisted that he did not intend to commit fraud.
If convicted, Christensen and the other former NiP owners could be hit with fines or imprisonment, with the sentence ranging from 6 months to 6 years.
The team itself is currently majority-owned by Diglife, a Norwegian investment company which has overseen the distribution and expansion of the Gunnar Optiks glasses throughout Asia and Europe. Diglife’s chief executive, Hicham Chachine, said last year that the company hoped to grow NiP into “the world’s leading eSports team” and that they would devote all “intellectual and financial resources” available.