The world of e-sports is growing rapidly, and Paramount+ wants to capitalize on the popularity with their new comedy docuseries, Players. The series follows a League of Legends team looking to win its first championship after years of failure. In order to make it to the top, their prodigy, a 17-year-old rookie, and their 27-year-old veteran must put aside their egos and work together.
The mockumentary stars Alexa Monsour (Unfriended: Dark Web), Stephen Schneider (Bumblebee), Moses Storm (Arrested Development), Ely Henry (Smallfoot), Misha Brooks (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Luke Tennie (Shock and Awe), and Da’Jour Jones (That Damn Michael Che). The show is created, written, and directed by Tony Yacenda, alongside Dan Perrault. If those names sound familiar, you may know them from a previous mockumentary on Netflix, American Vandal.
MOVIEWEB VIDEO OF THE DAY
Their last show was primarily successful, running for two seasons on Netflix and receiving positive reviews from critics and audiences. American Vandal is a true-crime satire exploring the costly aftermath of high school pranks gone wrong. Now, the duo is turning their sights to e-sports and the drama within the competitive gaming landscape.
Players is available to stream today, June 16th, on Paramount+.
Yacenda and Perrault Share Their Inspiration for Players
Following American Vandal, Yacenda and Perrault searched for inspiration for a new mockumentary-style series. After realizing that e-sports competitions were selling out venues worldwide, the pair became interested in the up-and-coming entertainment genre. In an interview with the New York Post, the co-creators shared their excitement for the new series.
“Truthfully, there was just curiosity, like ‘I can’t believe they’re selling out the Staples Center with kids watching other kids play video games.’ That seems insane to us. And we started doing some research. And it clicked for me as a series when we were talking to these former pros… I’m like, ‘It’s not this super-technical video game show, it’s a show about the aging vet and the young hotshot rookie.’ It’s a classic story, but in this fresh new world, and in this mockumentary format. I don’t think the story has been told quite like this.”
Players will be uncharted territory for Paramount+ as well, who have never produced an original series in the mockumentary format. The duo didn’t want to create a show strictly about video games. Instead, they wanted to focus on the relationships within the team and the egos that go along with it. Another area of interest is the ages of competitors and how your time to shine in the sport dwindles quickly.
“There’s no character on the show that’s specifically based on one real life person. But one thing that fascinated Tony and I is how young the world is, and how quickly these kids rise to fame – and don’t always stay there long. If you’re 17-18 years old, you might be one of the best players in the world. If you’re 25 or 26, you may be on the way out. It’s dramatically interesting, and we touch on it in the show — how one character can be so famous in one bubble, but outside of that bubble, it’s not quite the same.”
Given the broad themes explored in Players, the series should have a little bit for everyone. If you want to check it out, you can watch Players now on Paramount+.