“Falling Into Your Smile” Production Team and YUE HUA Entertainment Address Criticism Directed at the Series and Cheng Xiao Over Inaccurate Depiction of Esports and Gamers

"Falling Into Your Smile" Production Team and YUE HUA Entertainment Address Criticism Directed at the Series and Cheng Xiao Over Inaccurate Depiction of Esports and Gamers

Esports has become a lucrative multi-billion dollar industry globally. The category has also been a very popular theme in recent Chinese dramas. Xu Kai (许凯) and Cheng Xiao (程潇) star in, “Falling Into Your Smile” (你微笑时很美), a currently airing drama adaptation of the novel with the same name that revolves around the world of esports. Since the drama aired, some of the lines and scenarios have sparked backlash for inaccurate and disrespectful depictions of esports and esports players.

Xu Kai and Cheng Xiao

Some of the criticisms include: “How much of one episode is actually talking about the games? Don’t use esports as a guise for dating. It’s really insulting to each esports gamer’s hard work.”, “Rigging matches to allow more people to learn more about esports???”, “Is it to learn more about esports or to watch them date?”, “Letting the female lead sit on the trophy table?”, “Explain why he stopped in the middle of the competition to hug his girlfriend.”, “Talking about rigging matches so casually”, “There is really someone starting to play esports at 23…”, “Is the esports competition content in the series really professional? 3, 2, 1 start the team?”.

The series even caught the attention of some professional gamers who have publicly criticized the scriptwriters for not understanding the esports industry and undermining the gamers’ hard work. Some fans of the esports circle have also boycotted the series. While the ratings on Douban can be easily manipulated, the series ratings kept tanking and reached a low of 2.9 points out of 10 with many netizens calling out the series’ inaccurate and insulting portrayal of esports.

Aside from these criticisms, some netizens also chastised female lead, Cheng Xiao, for going live multiple times playing games, which gave off the persona that she liked playing games, but she still accepted this role that plagiarized and disrespected the esports industry. It got to a point where some fans of esports started attacking Cheng Xiao’s fans in their group chat, leading to fan wars.

Due to the backlash, Cheng Xiao’s management company, YUE HUA Entertainment, issued a statement on July 11, stating the series has brought a lot of many insulting and malicious comments and reviews that have damaged Cheng Xiao’s reputation and image. They warned citizens to stop their behavior and have already enlisted lawyers to gather evidence and won’t tolerate any behavior that violates their artist’s rights. They also stressed, “Cheng Xiao respects every scene and every performance.” They also called on netizens to: “Don’t get too invested into the series. Don’t use extreme words to evaluate anyone.”

Afterwards, the production team from “Falling Into Your Smile” also issued a statement calling for everyone to rationally watch the series and urged everyone not to engage in any scolding behavior or personal attacks towards anyone. They also admitted that there were a lot of areas that they didn’t do well. The team only hoped to allow people from different circles to understand more about esports and didn’t intend any details or lines to be “disrespectful” to any circle or person. Lastly, they also said they would accept fans’ opinions and suggestions and would try to respond to each comment on the post.

On July 12, the author of the “Falling Into Your Smile” novel addressed some of the plagiarism claims about the female lead’s persona being very similar to a real life gamer and criticisms about the series. She denied plagiarizing, borrowing storylines/characters, “stealing the life” from a real life gamer, disrespecting esports, and more. She also apologized for offending pro gamer, GODV.

Credit: Weibo (1, 2, 3, 4)


42 thoughts on ““Falling Into Your Smile” Production Team and YUE HUA Entertainment Address Criticism Directed at the Series and Cheng Xiao Over Inaccurate Depiction of Esports and Gamers

  1. I actually enjoyed the drama. I admit that the main leads’ acting is meh but their chemistry is overflowing! I really like the plot too. It’s actually different from a lot of modern cdrama. I’ve been dropping tons of modern cdrama because of their over the top mushy boring sweet scenes but mind you, I’ve completed this one and I never skipped anything!

    And about the esports issue, we viewers are not that stupid to believe that esports players are just gonna rig the game because of their girlfriends. It is fictional so let us live our fantasy through it!

    I also enjoyed watching the tournaments part a lot. Though I don’t play Onmyoji, I play Mobile Legends and it has the same game play. Actually, I’ve been applying some strategies that they’ve mentioned in the drama when I play and I actually got a little bit better. Hahahah

    FITYS is the best cdrama for me.

  2. Yikes. The defense squad in here are embarrassing. Ya’ll are doing too much, calling this the best drama. It’s so transparent to everyone that ya’ll are overcompensating for the valid criticisms. The acting is bad and the script is stupid. The ML had more chemistry with his former Korean teammate than the FL. Cheng Xiao is pretty but girl can’t act. Xu Kai, I thought he’d be better since he’s so popular, but he’s pretty meh in this. After Court Lady, Ancient Love Poetry and now this, I’m starting to think this guy is overrated. If you like sugary things with no substance then it’s perfect for you. Of course, none of this calls for people to send hate. You can criticize things without personal attacks.

    Don’t bother to tell me to stop watching, I already have.

  3. I don’t know why they hate this drama, for me I enjoyed watching it, love the drama, the actor especially Xu Kai. he is one of my favorite chinese actor..I’m from Philippines and I support FIYS, so please don’t criticize them..They are just portraying their roles base on script.They really work hard for this..

    1. This drama gave support and also stated that esport team trained a lot . They just wanted the fans of esport to understand that their idol are human and deserve a personal life. I think a lot of people miss that point of the series. And yes, it is a very good and sweet drama.

      1. Esports players will never sabotage or leave the match for the sake of their girlfriends/lovers. That is something the author, drama and watchers failed to understand.

  4. I advise if you don’t like Drama then leave it please. But don’t create unnecessary problems please.. atleast watch this drama at once this is really nice drama acting and story are really good I think this is 2021 best drama … And one more thing they don’t shoot drama to hurt anyone ok they no today’s generation likes this types of drama .and if anyone don’t like then please don’t comment.
    I am really sorry if I said anything wrong 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 everyone has their own thoughts so once again sorry … And I am not good in English if I had made mistakes then please understand
    Thank you and sorry for to everyone

    1. I don’t know why this drama have low population from every esport drama I used to watch I think this one is the best one since episode 1 I have been watching 7 times for the same episode I still can’t get over it … From their fashion their actor and actress their love story is so nice 😍💖

  5. Whats happening🙈🙈in what way they they hated this good drama! Haters are lonely they need attention😂😂😂, you missed out the good drama

  6. Actually the negative reaction to the inaccuracies is childish and more embarrassing than the inaccuracies themselves. Actually, the e-sports fans reaction shows that at least the representation of the fans is quite accurate.

  7. ‘Falling in to your smile’ the title is giving such a positive vibe and this drama is for entertainment purposes..why don’t haters stop watching it ? Their whole cast and production team have spent so much time, emotions to made this series… it’s for enjoyment and to made international people aware of eSports … it’s based on romance literally ….why both actor and actress have to suffer cause of this??….

  8. I don’t care anything else. But the acting is indeed very bad (from both Xu Kai and Cheng Xiao), and deserves criticism.

      1. If a person was chosen as a lead in a production, they better do their job correctly, else the show flops and everyone working for the show gets dragged down with them. If their production succeeds it helps not only the actors but also the staff who work off-camera. The 2 leads claim they’re actors but why are they so bad at it? Maybe they should go take acting classes again if their skills are still lacking. With how much they’re getting paid, they should at least have good acting skills.

    1. I don’t know if the acting is bad, or the director isn’t asking for a lot of emotion from the characters… I know Xu Kai is more capable than this! I loved him in The Legends and Arsenal Academy. This is my first time watching Cheng Xiao, and I think her interpretation of the character is a bit boring. She’s stunning, and it’s funny they try to make her come off as an average looking/slightly cute girl. I do think her acting needs improvement. Her expressions are almost always the same. Even when she was evil eyeing one of the gamers, I felt like she was just staring at him. This is an easy-going drama I’m watching in the background because even if I don’t pay attention, not much happens. I

  9. I am against sending anyone hate period. But this series deserves criticism. I can see why real E-sports people feel disrespected. This is just your run of the mill idol romance drama. Clearly they only use E-sports as window dressing and makes no effort to accurately portray the sport at all.

  10. It’s not like xu Kai and Cheng xiao are insulting e-sports.. how can those people can criticize them. In positive side they are encouraging people in some point. Why can’t those players understand? If they don’t like to watch drama they can stop watching instead of criticizing and hurting them by their words. But please let us enjoy the drama peacefully.

    1. They are not e sports player they are actors why do they even send hates and criticism to them the drama is really good they are my favorite c drama so far so they have no right to said hate towards the actors!!.

  11. Indeed. I found the storyline too simplistic. Pales in comparison to Cross Fire (2020)with male lead Leo Wu. Ilmind you, I’m actually a big fan of Xu Kai and his movie Arsenal Military Academy was superb. He was pretty good in this latest esports drama too but the plot just doesn’t go down well with me. Its too much competition on the computer. I also dun understand this particular game they are playing – isn’t it just fighting character? To bring down a certain opponent’s tower? I couldn’t appreciate the tactics as discussed by the characters u like those of mentioned in Cross Fire (2020). That game really does have war tactics. 😅

    I can understand what esports players have to go through… Its pretty tough for them and so I really take my hats off them for the kind of training and game analysis they do.

    One thing for sure that I have learnt is that, as a mum I will not turn down my son if he ever went into esports next time… He needs a mother’s love and support.

    1. El drama Crossfire tiene dos protagonistas Luhan y Leo Wu .No solo menciones a uno ,ambos se merecen el credito .Sus actuaciones fueron buenas.

  12. Come on guy’s it’s just a drama how can you make such a big issue i can’t believe this.so you are so jealous of them .

  13. Everyone just chill out, it’s a series for entertainment and I for one enjoy the whole thing, The ML and FL are both great the story is light and like a breath of fresh air. There is nothing that I have seen or heard that makes me think anything bad about the real people who do this for a living, except now I am interested in gaming and competition.

  14. This series deserved to be hated. Not only did the author plagiarized the story from a fanfic, she also used real-life esports players’ experience and failed romance for the characters and disrespect them in returns. And the author and the fans are clearly those who had never watch esports before, so they lack the empathy to understand why the series is so hated by the esports circle. They really need to stop using esports as prop if they couldn’t even give them basic respect. And I heard that they used mobile moba for the game in the drama. Wth.

    1. This drama is really good so what’s the hate for?!..the drama is the best drama I watched so far…the drama don’t deserve the hate and criticism

      1. Hahaha you’re joking right. This drama is horrible. You’re better off watching Go Go Squid! for a much better romance drama with esports setting. Heck even The King’s Avatar is better than this piece of sh*t. This series deserves the hates and criticisms.

        1. I dnt hate the drama ,,for me the most i hated is the one who plagiarized ,,the cast of FIYS DOESNT DESERVE TO BE BLAMED THE ONE TO BLAME Is the one who plagiarized the story ,for me dont involve the other innocent staffs and celbrty

          1. That’s facts. If you are mad about plagiarism- blame the writer!

            Blaming the actors for playing an unrealistic role is almost funny. How many 20 year old CEOs have we seen? Does anyone mind when an actor plays an unrealistic assassin? Nope.

    2. Come on guysss…. This drama just for an entertainment to the public. For me personally it’s no wrong from eSports fans or their fans because for some fan who did not actually playing games maybe want to try how it’s feel to playing games and for some fans who actually playing games this is the opportunity to take eSports games to greatest platform and show the world what the benefits of playing games.

      And for the the drama it’s just for fun and enjoy watching a romance drama.

      Besides what I just told in up there they will be win win for both industry. So do not need to fight which can course a damage for both industry.

      1. It’s not really an entertainment since it’s rip-off of real-life (failed) romance okay. And ripping off real pro player’s id, names, personalities and experience, and turned them into jokes in the series. It’s a PLAGIARIZED novel, with zero respect towards esports and the pro players.

        If they really want to feel to play games, they can just watch the much better Go Go Squid and The King’s Avatar. Especially the latter since it’s all about esports and no romance. Go Go Squid was respectful towards esports at least, and the characters not as selfish as the ones from this series. Win win? More like a lost for the entertainment industry. Where is the fun in reading and watching drama that does not even respect esports.

    3. hello???it’s only a drama series, not a true story-based at all. And don’t you even criticized the actors and actresses, coz your worse than them. come on, you don’t deserve the spotlight, do you? hating the drama and spreading negative feedback won’t make you righteous.

      WATCH IF YOU LIKE IT, OTHERWISE, THEN DON’T.

      Hate comes from insecure people, TRULY PATHETIC. Backlashing others won’t make yourself better.

      1. It IS based on true story. This series is plagiarized from an esport fanfic based on the romance between Gao “WeiXiao” Xuecheng and his ex Su Xiaoyan okay. Even the id the FL used is ripped off from him! Hell there is nothing original in the series. You should be ashamed for supporting a plagiarized series and their terrible acting. You want more proof of it being true story-based? Take a look here: https://m.weibo.cn/status/4500882073180258. Hell go visit any Chinese forum. They will give you more.

        The actors and actresses are not even that good lol. Especially Xu Kai. He doesn’t even have a good reputation when it comes to acting. And being blind and ignorant don’t make yourself better.

  15. Those haters are too pity, they missed out a good drama. I love this drama. Makes me happy , laughing and smilling while watching it. And those haters really gone crazy by disrespecting the actors like that. I hope they got sued for real

    1. FIYS got one thing right, the intense love and hate of fans. There’s nothing wrong in criticism if it’s for the improvement of the show, but I don’t really understand the hate this drama received. It’s a drama not a documentary. If they want a full on details of the lives of esport players, go watch a documentary. We love FYIS. Don’t spoil our fun, leave us be.

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