Do you know that in China more than half a billion people play video games? This explains why the obsession over esports even transcends to the fictional world of dramas.
If you are into video games and drama series, here are six Chinese esports dramas you need to watch:
1.Go Go Squid! (2019)
Based on the novel ‘Stewed Squid with Honey’ by Mo Bao Fei Bao, Go Go Squid (2019) is a romantic comedy drama circles around an esports celebrity player.
20 years ago, nobody would believe that one could earn fame and fortune from playing video games.
Han Shangyan (Li Xian) is a legend in the world of esports but he is lacking in his people skills.
Meanwhile, Tong Nian (Yang Zi) is a brilliant IT programming student with a large social media following thanks to her covers of Japanese songs.
When Shangyan walks into her life, Tong Nian falls for him head over heels.
But can she attract the attention of the Shangyan who is famously known for his cold personality?
Putting aside the romance, the drama focuses on what it takes to prepare for a world-class esports competition.
2.Love O2O (2016)
Basically, this drama is a romance story between the most popular boy and the most beautiful girl on campus.
In this story, the most popular boy Xiao Nai (Yang Yang) is the CEO of gaming company Zhi Yi Technology.
He meets computer science major Bei Weiwei (Zheng Shuang) through online game A Chinese Ghost Story.
They form an in-game ‘marriage’ with Bei Weiwei not knowing the real identity of her online husband.
Apart from the romance plot going on between Weiwei and Xiao Nai, the drama also focuses on all the hard work goes behind developing a game.
For examples are the details of NPC (Non-player Character) in a video game and the programming work to make the game to load smoother and faster.
Based on the novel of ‘Just One Smile is Very Alluring’ written by Gu Man, the drama is one of the most watched Chinese modern dramas.
The game featured in this drama is ‘A Chinese Ghost Story’. It is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) famous in China.
3.The King’s Avatar (2019)
Here is another Chinese esports drama starring Yang Yang as the main character.
This time he plays the role of professional gamer Ye Xiu.
He is kicked out from his own team and becomes a manager of an Internet cafe.
After awhile, Ye Xiu slowly works his way up again to regain his spot as the number one gamer.
The plot circles around the conflicts and incidents happening within professional gamer teams.
This is quite close to reality as even here in Malaysia, we have seen numerous times professional gamer teams breaking up and moving on to new groups.
It is based on the web novel of the same name by Hu Dielan.
The game featured in the King’s Avatar is a MMORPG called Glory.
4.Gank My Heart (2019)
Today, there is a rising number of internet broadcasters who specialised in esports commentary.
Just like the traditional sports commentator, these broadcasters would live-stream an online game, watching them while commenting about the move.
In Gank Your Heart (2019), Qiu Ying (Wang Zi Xuan) is the noob internet broadcaster who aims to be a professional e-sports commentator.
She falls for Ji Xiangkong (Wang Yibo), a professional gamer whose nicknames are ‘Battle Swindler’ and ‘Hand Remnant’.
It is based on the novel Dian Jing Lian Ren by Nanye Lin’er.
While most Chinese esports dramas are based on real-life games, Gank My Heart (2019) centers around iConquer, a fictional multi-player fantasy game similar to World of Warcraft.
5.Cross Fire (2020)
This Chinese esports drama shows how much the gaming industry changed in less than fifteen years.
In 2008 when the money is little to earn while playing game, Xiao Feng (Lu Han) is an e-sports team leader who barely keeping his team together.
Meanwhile in 2019, Lu Xiao Bei (Leo Wu) is a wheelchair-bound gamer who’s trying to make it as a professional.
Something happens and the two gamers from two different times finding themselves playing in the same game.
They find friendship in each other and continuously growing together in the gaming world.
As you can tell by the title of this drama, the series circles around the video game CrossFire.
6.Falling into Your Smile (2021)
When professional gamers are treated like internet celebrities, it bound to have gossip columns and obsessed fans following these gamers around.
In the drama Falling into Your Smile (2021), the all-male ZGDX OPL team has a large following of die-hard fans.
All eyes are watching the team when one of their star players suffers from a hand injury and they need of a replacement.
What they do not expect is that the replacement is a girl named Tong Yao (Cheng Xiao).
With this, she becomes China’s first female profession esports athlete.
In a male-predominated industry, the Chinese esports drama highlights the scepticism and prejudice suffered by female players as well as fans.
One of our favourite quotes in this drama is, “If a woman can be your mother, why can’t a woman be an esports professional gamer?”
Overall, the storyline does a great job in portraying the struggles faced by these athletes for choosing this unconventional profession.
If you are a fan of the game Onmyoji Arena, this is definitely a must watched drama.
You are My Glory (2021)
Besides Love 020 (2016), Chinese novelist Gu Man wrote You Are My Glory which inspired another Chinese esports drama of the same name.
Again, she collaborated with Yang Yang as her main lead actor who plays the role of an aerospace engineer/expert gamer named Yu Tu.
In this currently ongoing drama, celebrity Qiao Jing Jing (Dilraba Dilmurat) is about to lose her endorsement for an online game.
Someone leaks a video of her sucking at playing an online game, which is the complete opposite of her public image.
In order to prove herself and not lose the endorsement, Jing Jing’s agent suggests that she join a gaming competition.
While trying to improve her gaming skill, Jing Jing encounters her old classmate Yu Tu and eventually asking him to become her gaming couch.
Unlike other Chinese esports dramas which circle around role-playing video game on PC, this drama centers around mobile gaming.
Do you have any favourite Chinese esports dramas? Let us know in the comment box.