Squid Game: The Challenge‘s first champion will be crowned later today and walk away with $4.56M, the largest prize in reality TV history.
They will be joined, at some point, by another winner after Netflix renewed the reality series for a second season.
The series, which is based on the eponymous Korean drama series that continues to be Netflix’s most popular series of all time, was picked up for a second run ahead of its final episode, which airs tonight (December 6) at 9pm ET.
The streamer, which called Squid Game: The Challenge its “most ambitious unscripted show” ever, had an interesting release strategy. The first five episodes premiered on November 22, followed by episodes six through nine on November 29 and its finale on December 6.
The contest saw 456 compete through a series of games inspired by the original show – plus new additions – with their strategies, alliances, and character will be put to the test while competitors are eliminated around them.
Games included Red Light, Green Light, which saw over 250 contestants eliminated, the Dalgona candy game, battleship, marbles and the glass bridge as well as a number of interstitial challenges.
Squid Game: The Challenge has been a success for Netflix, debuting at number one among the streamer’s English-language TV list for the week of November 20 to 26, with 20.1M views. It remained top of the charts in its second week with 11.4M views. In the UK, it racked up nearly 2M viewers in its first five days, according to official Barb audience figures.
However, it wasn’t without its controversies. A number of contestants are threatening legal action against the streamer and producers after claiming they were injured during filming and have retained a British personal injuries law firm, with two claiming they suffered hypothermia and nerve damage while shooting in cold conditions in the UK.
But of claims of poor conditions were shrugged off by producers. “It was cold,” exec producer Tim Harcourt told Deadline. “People were warned about [the cold] and yes it made the game tougher but the games should be tough.”