5 eSports C-Dramas To Add To Your Watch List
eSports, which stands for electronic sports, is a form of competition using video games, and it often takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions usually between professional players either in teams or individually. Did you know that in China over half a billion people actively play video games? With the continuous growth of tech-savvy gamers in the Middle Kingdom, it comes at no surprise that eSports is one of the fastest-growing genres in Chinese dramas. In the last few years, there’s been numerous eSports dramas released, and some have achieved outstanding success both domestically and internationally. If you’re new to the genre and don’t know what to start watching, check out some our favorite eSport dramas below!
When it comes to dramas about gaming, it’s impossible to not mention the immensely popular 2016 drama “Love O2O” starring Yang Yang and Zheng Shuang. It’s an adaptation of the novel “Just One Smile is Very Alluring’’ written by author Gu Man. It is considered one of the most highly-watched modern Chinese dramas, with over 25 billion views online. “Love O2O” ranked number one in television ratings and was the top most searched and discussed online topic during its broadcast. Besides being a hit drama domestically, it was also well-received internationally. The drama is praised for its unique and fresh plot that does not include overused clichés, all the while following the original novel’s story faithfully.
“Love O2O” stars Zheng Shuang as Bei Wei Wei, a second year university student majoring in computer science. Besides excelling in her studies, Wei Wei is also an aspiring game developer who plays A Chinese Ghost Story, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), under the username Luwei Wei Wei. She is also the only female in the list of the 10 best players of the game. Wei Wei ends up catching the attention of Xiao Nai (Yang Yang), the number one player of A Chinese Ghost Story who also happens to be her university senior. He’s immediately captivated not by her beauty, but by her superb gaming skills. Going forward, he uses his skills both online and in real life to win Wei Wei’s heart.
Start watching “Love O2O”:
One of the smash hit dramas of 2019 is “Go Go Squid” starring Li Xian and Yang Zi and based on the novel “Stewed Squid With Honey“ by Mo Bao Fei Bao. The romantic comedy is considered one of the best Chinese dramas and is the top most streamed online drama of 2019. The drama’s popularity even led to the release of the spin-off drama “Go Go Squid 2: Dt. Appledog’s Time” starring Hu Yi Tian and Li Yi Tong, who are supporting characters in the original “Go Go Squid,” earlier this year.
The story follows Tong Nian (Yang Zi), a brilliant computer engineering master’s student, who also happens to be a popular online cover singer with the alias “Little Squid.” One day she crosses paths with the legendary eSports gamer Han Shang Yan (Li Xian) at a PC cafe. It’s love at first sight for Tong Nian, and she takes the initiative to pursue a romantic relationship with Han Shang Yan. Utilizing her unique and adorable charms, Tong Nian begins to melt the heart of the cold and uninterested Han Shang Yan.
Start watching “Go Go Squid”:
“Gank Your Heart”
Next on our list is the 2019 drama “Gank Your Heart” starring Wang Yibo and Wang Zi Xuan and based on the novel “Gaming Lovers (Accompany You to the Top of the World)” written by Nanye Lin’er. Ji Xiang Kong (Wang Yibo) is a professional eSports player for the game iConquer (a fictional multi-player fantasy game similar to World of Warcraft), while Qiu Ying (Wang Zi Xuan) is a newbie live streamer who aims to be a professional eSports commentator.
Qiu Ying meets Ji Xiang Kong at an international competition and their relationship starts off on bad terms, but it is also a blessing in disguise as Qiu Ying finds her calling to pursue a career in eSports commentary. Ji Xiang Kong on the other hand is a brilliant strategist but has a tarnished reputation in the eSports world. The OTP overcomes many difficulties and misunderstandings through various obstacles and works together to achieve success in the eSports world. While supporting each other’s dreams, romantic feelings also begin to develop!
“Falling Into Your Smile”
Our next eSports drama is also an adaptation of a novel called “You’re Beautiful When You Smile” by Qing Mei. Titled “Falling Into Your Smile,” the story focuses on the all-male ZGDX OPL (Onmyoji Premier League) team and its arrogant and hard-to-please team captain Lu Si Cheng (Xu Kai). When a team member suffers a hand injury, the team is forced to look for a replacement player and attempts to recruit promising amateur gamer Tong Yao (Cheng Xiao). Lu Si Cheng is hesitant to accept Tong Yao, but he eventually warms up to her and welcomes her as a new member.
Tong Yao becomes the first female professional gamer, and in the male-dominated industry, she faces skepticism and prejudice which she has to learn to navigate through to prove her worth in the team. With her perseverance and the support of Lu Si Cheng and her teammates, she is able to overcome her struggles to stand on the world stage to fight for a championship. “Falling Into Your Smile” does a great job of portraying the hardships faced by eSports players for choosing the unconventional profession.
Start watching “Falling Into Your Smile”:
“You Are My Glory”
The latest eSports drama is “You Are My Glory” starring Yang Yang and Dilraba Dilmurat, and it is also an adaptation of a novel of the same name by author Gu Man. It was considered one of the top most anticipated dramas of 2021 due to the huge popularity of the two main leads who each have large fanbases. Since the drama started airing on July 26, it has already accumulated over 3 billion views to date. Yang Yang and Dilraba are a visually stunning pairing, matching their characters’ roles perfectly. Fans of the novel also praised the drama for being faithful to the original story and for the main leads’ sizzling, refreshing chemistry.
“You Are My Glory” follows the love story between popular celebrity Qiao Jing Jing (Dilraba Dilmurat) and aerospace engineer Yu Tu (Yang Yang) who are former high school classmates. Jing Jing is the ambassador of the popular mobile game “Honor of Kings.” One day, a video is leaked of her playing terribly in the game, so in order to restore her image and not lose her endorsement deal, she joins a competition to prove her skills. Jing Jing utilizes her free time towards improving her gaming skills, and it leads her to reconnect with Yu Tu, whom she had a long time crush on. Reuniting after 10 years, Yu Tu ends up being Jing Jing’s gaming coach. Through the game, the two get to know each other again as adults, and a sweet romance blossoms between the two.
blacksesame88 is a long-time Asian drama and entertainment addict. She enjoys discussing her favorite dramas and sharing her knowledge of Asian entertainment. When she’s not watching dramas, she’s busy snapping aesthetic photos of delicious food on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter and join her for recaps of the current dramas she’s watching, also feel free to say Hi and have a chat!
Currently watching: “Love Is Science?” “Crush,” and “Call Me By Fire”
All-time favorite dramas: “Go Ahead,” “Nirvana In Fire,” “Queen In Hyun’s Man,” “A Witch’s Romance,” “Love O2O,” “Skate Into Love,” and “My Mr. Mermaid”
Looking forward to: “Love Under the Full Moon,” “Glory of the Special Forces,” and “The Oath of Love”