Over the past five years, Chinese dramas — also known as C-dramas — have grown substantially in popularity among fans of Asian entertainment. It was probably introduced primarily among fans of Hallyu when Chinese dramas started featuring K-pop idols as main leads (especially EXO), but since then, it has grown on its own. As a matter of fact, mainland China is responsible for producing far more period dramas in today’s Asian entertainment landscape than any other country.
As of late, Chinese dramas are starting to become well-known for their excellent youth dramas and this year, they just released one that is garnering a lot of attention among Asian entertainment fans called The King’s Avatar.
Light from the Ashes
The King’s Avatar (全职高手, Quánzhí Gāoshou) is an eSports youth drama based on the webcomic Quan Hi Gao Shou by Hu Dielan. Starring Yang Yang (The Chronicles of Town Called Jian, Martial Universe), Jiang Shuying (Novoland: Eagle Flag), Lai Yumeng, and Li Yujie, it is about the comeback of Ye Xiu (Yang) which was first foreshadowed by the Chinese drama’s opening theme Light from the Ashes by Cai Weize.
Formerly the captain of Team Excellent Era, Ye Xiu “retires” from his position as the top player of a multiplayer online video game known as Glory. Now working as a staff member for Happy Cafe, which happens to be conveniently located across the street from Excellent Era’s headquarters, Ye Xiu “finds his love” for Glory again.
Along with Chen Guo (Shuying), the boss and owner of Happy Cafe, Ye Xiu forms a new Glory team known as Team Happy. Along the way, both recruit numerous rookie including Guo’s best friend and prodigy Tang Rou (Yujie) and Glory veterans to become the first rookie team to form and win the championship in their first year.
A huge hit among viewers
The King’s Avatar was a huge hit during its initial run earlier this year. Viewers at the time complimented the simple yet fresh story along with the stunning visual effects in which the characters used in the Glory video game look just like their human counterparts. It also won praise from People’s Daily and several industry professionals for its spiritual focus to the webcomic and creative value.
Ultimately, The King’s Avatar attracted more than one billion views on Tencent Video and more than ten million views on overseas platforms especially WeTV and YouTube. This is probably the biggest reason why Netflix picked up the series after it aired. Though Chinese dramas are growing, they are often a hit or miss in general compared to K-dramas. But with such popularity and high demand after its initial airing, it was a no brainer for Netflix to pick it up. It turned out to be a smart move as The King’s Avatar is recognized as exclusive to Netflix now and it is garnering a lot of attention followed by views.
The King’s Avatar previously aired on Tencent Video earlier this year but is now available for American viewers (North and South America at least) on Netflix. Take note viewers will need a Netflix subscription in order to watch the popular Chinese drama.