I’ve been wanting to write about this series ever since I finished it last year. The King’s Avatar is a Chinese web series that was added Netflix last year. Since I’m watching a lot of Asian shows, Netflix recommended it to me and the premise was interesting.
When an elite gamer is forced out of his professional team, he becomes a manager of an internet cafe and reinvents himself to return to online glory.
With the current lack of sports, watching a fictional show about esports might fill a small part of that hole. You’ll see in-game footage of the battles and practices, and I’ve to say, I’m seriously impressed with the CGI. Even if none of it is real, it still looks like a game that could’ve been released last year.
It’s a typical Chinese show aimed at a younger audience with its silly characters, humor, and character archetypes. If you’ve watched any anime, you’ll probably recognize them.
What I liked the most about this series is the character of Ye Qui, our lead. He’s incredibly good at the game, but you’ll never hear him say that. And he still struggles with his own demons.
It’s not the usual prodigy trope where the lead figures out their hidden abilities and take on the world. He already is good after paying his dues so there is no need to focus on him and his abilities. He has other goals and through those, helps others discover their talents.
The pacing of the show is pretty good too. They include a lot of in-game footage to mimic the training sessions and battles. None of this is played in real-time though. With the way it’s set up, the movement of the characters’ faces and the perfectly choreographed attacks, it’s just not possible. There are also a few mistakes that if it was real-time wouldn’t happen. And that’s okay. After all, it’s still a fiction series and a story needs to be told. Then again. Choreographing these in-game scenes is a feat on its own and they’ve done it well.
I think it’s an interesting show to check out if you’re a gamer and interested in esports. There’s a lot of drama, but you’ll be entertained until the last minute. The show is 40 episodes long, almost an hour each, so it’s perfect for binging. Bonus points for finding references to other games.