On November 11th, Europe’s most storied esports organization, Fnatic, announced that they would partner with c-drama “Falling Into Your Smile.”
“Falling Into Your Smile,” or “你微笑时很美” in Chinese, is a c-drama love story between student Tong Yao and Lu Si Cheng. Tong Yao is the first female professional player to play in China’s national League.
Why is the Show So Controversial?
The Chinese esports community dislikes the show for the alleged plagiarism involved in creating the show. Each character’s storylines suspiciously resemble those of League’s most famous pros.
Another issue that arose with the show’s debut was the logos of the show’s teams. The show created a team logo that was just a distorted version of LGD’s without their consent. The show’s false claims to Chinese fans that they were “original” caused massive outrage.
So, when FNATIC’s logo showed up in the show, fans thought the show had stolen their logo.
However, from FNATIC’s weibo they claimed to not know about the plagiarism, and claimed to only want to promote their brand in China.
Apparently, FNATIC didn’t receive any financial benefit from the show. Instead, they wanted the show to be a free way to “introduce [their] logo to [their] Chinese fans”.
The show itself states that they will never tolerate plagiarism, and that the show promotes originality. They claim to respect the e-sports industry and all the people who work within it, and they’ll be more vigilant in the future.
Furthermore, the portrayal of the players in “Falling into Your Smile” has been another point of distaste for the Chinese Esports scene.
In much of the show, players are in explicit scenes that don’t reflect their nature. As many of the characters in the show are similar to other pros in real life, people see the show as being disrespectful to these pros.
It’s quite disappointing that an organization like FNATIC would opt into supporting a blatantly disrespectful show to the esports scene and one guilty of plagiarism. As FNATIC has already authorized the use of their logo in their contract, they won’t pull out. It’ll be interesting to how the organization tries to salvage its tainted reputation amongst Chinese e-sports fans.
Take a look at this article if you want to learn about Twitch’s response to copyright drama.