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Esport TV Drama Shows

Esport Drama Shows

With video games becoming more and more mainstream in many countries, it is not unbelievable that countries like China and Korea have created TV dramas about the subject. Sometimes with all the scandals and the classic ‘anime’ storylines, real-life esports can feel like a scripted drama. Here is a look at a few well-known Esport TV Drama Shows to tide fans over during the off-season.

Fall Into Your Smile

This drama is recent coming out in 2021. It was adapted from Qing Mei’s web novel “You’re Beautiful When You Smile” that was quite popular. This drama focuses on the all-male pro-teams that play a game that shares similarities to League of Legends. With titles such as the OPL and references to the stage rules (such as the pick and ban phase), trophy, and vocabulary it is easy to see what the drama is referencing.

This drama is centered around how the main protagonist, Tong Yao, who is a newbie in the scene breaks into the world of esports. The in-game skills of Tong Yao are undeniable, but the issue appears that she is a female in the male-dominated world. It doesn’t help that she is taking over the ‘mid’ position for the ZGDX’s team captain who was dearly beloved. Though this drama is mainly focused around the romantic triangle of Tong Yao, one of her new teammates, and her ex-boyfriend who is on an opposing team, this drama does highlight many elements of esports.

Not only is the focus of gender stereotypes and struggles of females in the professional gaming world. There is also the look at the team dynamics, players who retire, live streaming, public interviews, fan interactions through social media, and how injuries impact players. The pressures of the esport lifestyle and career. This is a good drama that shows the general struggles, but also successes, of a professional esport players both male and female.

Watch all 31 episodes on youtube here.

Gank Your Heart (2019)

Gank Your Heart is also a drama that was adapted from Nan Ye Lin Er’s novel “Accompany You to the Top of the World.”  This is mostly a love story that is around the storyline of a professional gamer and a live streamer.

This drama really highlights how fast the esport world. A live streamer or esport player can be on the top of the world and then fall. After the main character Ji Xiang Kong, the leader of the team, and his team fails to win the world championship the team disbands. This start hits the nail on the head of the emotional attachment camaraderie that players have with each other. During this hard time, the crossing of paths with Qiu Ying a commentator helps both recover from the set backs.

This drama shows how the audience and fan support can move mountains for teams.  The esport is again very reminiscent of league of legends. The pain of a team disbanding after a loss is something that all fans fear. The friendships that are depicted in the web drama show how a team can feel like family to many of these players. Though this drama is centered around romance, it brings up many common themes that float around the esport world. It is more unrealistic in the plot, but it makes up for it by the heartfelt emotions of being a professional in a career that can be so volatile.

Gank Your Heart’s 35 episodes can be watched here.

The Kings Avatar (2019)

This drama is more focused around the esports world with esports culture at the front and center focus. Again this drama came from a web novel by Hu Die lan under the same name of The King’s Avatar. The esport title that this drama is centered around is Glory, which again has similarities to League of Legends but is less so than the other two. The main character, Ye Xiu, is a popular online player of Glory on the team Excellent Era.

This drama shows perseverance above all else. Most fans know the pain of their favorite player being cut and having them LFT. The King’s Avatar goes to the behind-the-scenes of that struggle that the players are facing and the options that are in front of them. Though Ye Xiu was cut from his club, he wasn’t ready to give up. This drama has the trope of the underdogs coming from the bottom to try and reclaim the championship.

The fact that it doesn’t have any overt romantic love line maybe a turn-off or a green light to watch this drama. Without that love line, the plot doesn’t ever stutter. It is heart-wrenching as well as joyous as a drama should be. The emotional rollercoaster is worth the 40 episodes and can be watched on Netflix.

Esport Dramas

China has been a leading manufacturer of esport dramas. There are many others that didn’t make it onto the list that can be explored. Though South Korea has drama’s around esports, there are seen more in the game development so far. That is not to say there are not good esport dramas that are still being produced. One drama that has caught netizen’s attention is Crossfire which came out in 2021 that was popular across China. As esports continues to venture into the mainstream world there is going to be more and more representation in the mainstream media. Hopefully, the dramas and other media take an authentic look at what it means to be in esports as behind all the glamor on the stage has a lot of players’ lives and hard work.

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