As technology evolves, so apparently do drama genres!
If you haven’t noticed, there has been — to our absolute delight — an amazing onslaught of Chinese e-Sports dramas in recent years. Some are injected with romance while some are filled with blood-pumping action! In celebration of International Video Games Day, we’ve prepared a list of binge-worthy dramas just for you:
1. Love O2O (微微一笑很倾城)
We’re starting off with a romantic classic! Based on the novel Just One Smile is Very Alluring by Gu Man, this 2016 adaptation is one of the most popular Chinese dramas of all time, having accumulated more than 25 billion views online.
The story follows computer science major Bei Weiwei, reputed to be not only a talented student but also the second-most beautiful girl on campus. While finishing her studies to be an online game developer, Weiwei actively takes part in the online RPG A Chinese Ghost Story as the only female to rank among the game’s top ten players.
Somewhere along the way, she finds herself meeting the university’s most popular bachelor Xiao Nai, who falls in love with her at first sight, not because of her looks but because of her amazing gaming skills! Together, they navigate through the hurdles of everyday life, growing closer to one another in both their online and offline worlds.
Main Cast: Zheng Shuang, Yang Yang
Episode Count: 30
Where to Watch: Netflix
2. The King’s Avatar (全职高手)
Yet another popular gaming series is The King’s Avatar, which is a 2019 live-action adaptation of a web novel of the same name by Hu Dielan. The hit series is highly praised for its fresh storyline and stunning visual effects.
The drama focuses on Ye Xiu, who, despite being a top-tier player of the multiplayer online game Glory, was expelled from his professional team. Leaving the pro-gaming scene, Ye Xiu finds work as a manager of an internet cafe but ultimately returns to gaming when Glory released its tenth server. Equipped with ten years of experience, he determinedly begins a journey to once again rise to the top.
3. You Are My Glory (你是我的荣耀)
Marking actor Yang Yang’s third foray into the e-Sports drama genre, You Are My Glory is yet another live-action adaptation of a web novel of the same name by Gu Man. Headlined by two of the most popular names in the industry, fans have been plenty excited for both the visuals and chemistry between the lead couple, leaving the drama to be one of the most highly anticipated shows of the year.
You Are My Glory tells the romantic story of aerospace engineer Yu Tu and popular actress Qiao Jingjing. After a leaked video revealed her to be a terrible gamer, Qiao Jingjing enters the gaming world in order to save her endorsement deal as a video game ambassador. In order to prove herself, she reconnects with her former classmate and expert gamer Yu Tu, who also happens to be an old crush. Recruiting Yu Tu’s help as a gaming coach, Qiao Jingjing decides to join a competition to prove her gaming prowess.
Main Cast: Dilraba Dilmurat, Yang Yang
Episode Count: 32
Where to Watch: WeTV
4. Go Go Squid! (亲爱的，热爱的)
As the most-streamed drama of 2019, this sweet rom-com has caught the hearts of viewers from all over the world. It has also successfully led to the 2021 release of the spin-off Go Go Squid 2: Dt. Appledog’s Time. Both are considered to be live adaptations of the novel Honey-Stewed Squid by Mo Bao Fei Bao.
Go Go Squid! follows an adorable romance that starts when online singer Tong Nian watches the legendary e-sports idol Han Shengyan walk into an internet cafe, immediately falling in love with him. Although Tong Nian normally considers herself to be brave and outgoing, she finds herself stumbling in the face of Han Shengyan’s cold personality. Persistent and determined, Tong Nian strives to pursue Han Shengyan and support him in his dreams to win international competitions.
5. Falling Into Your Smile (你微笑时很美)
Fluffy? Wholesome? What more can you ask for? Based on the novel You Are Beautiful When You Smile by Qing Mei, this 2021 drama is the cute romance of our dreams!
When a member of the all-male ZGDX Onmyoji Premier League suffers a hand injury, the team is forced to search for a player to replace him. Team captain Lu Sicheng is not so convinced about looking for a substitute, but they eventually recruit Tong Yao, a promising amateur gamer who also contributes to the team’s PR strategy as their only female player.
Although the move polarizes the fanbase, Tong Yao proves herself to both Lu Sicheng and the world when she is able to compete alongside the team on the international stage.
Main Cast: Cheng Xiao, Xu Kai
Episode Count: 31
Where to Watch: WeTV
6. Gank Your Heart (陪你到世界之巅)
Looking for another side to the eSports genre? Adapted from the novel Accompany You to the Top of the World by Nan Ye Lin’er, Gank Your Heart depicts the romance of a professional gamer and a live streamer who dreams of becoming a commentator.
A disastrous meeting turns into a blessing for aspiring commentator Qiu Ying during an international gaming competition. Having initially jumped at the chance to boost her popularity by affiliating herself with the handsome and talented Ji Xiangkong, Qiu Ying is dumbfounded to see her own popularity take a hit because of the former’s strangely tarnished reputation. However, by chance, she discovers that the unpopular Ji Xiangkong is actually just a misunderstood genius.
Main Cast: Wang Zixuan, Wang Yibo
Episode Count: 35
Where to Watch: YouTube (Mango TV)
Want to check out some more genre-savvy drama recs? Take a look at our medical C-drama list, too!