The e-sports arena is hallowed ground. There, in that octagon...or square-ish place, computer nerds, hoodie and all, are transformed into mighty gladiators, wielding powers of might and magic in search of ultimate victory on the battlefield.
Excuse the enthusiasm, but I have just finished watching the new trailer for a brand new anime from Tencent, the owners of the mega-popular League of Legends game. The anime, called The King's Avatar, is based on a 2012 Chinese web-novel which itself spawned a comic book series that's been steadily gaining popularity.
The project is the latest indicator of e-sports' growing popularity. The industry is indeed booming, with a recent PwC report projecting the global e-sports economy will generate $463 million in 2016, an increase of 43 percent on 2015.
The King's Avatar follows Ye Xiu, a former pro-player in a League of Legends-ish game Glory. After being kicked from his team and leaving the pro scene, Ye Xiu works in an internet cafe until he is pulled back into the game, seeking to rekindle past glory and to right past wrongs.
Tencent have not gone on record stating that there is any tie-up between this anime and League of Legends, but if the ravenous appetite that China has for video games is any indication, chances are that this anime will do well.
The King's Avatar will premiere on Tencent's QQ.com platform in early 2017. There is no word yet on an international release but if you want to read the novel or web-comic, you can find translated versions here.