After years of individual and partner Challenges, we are finally (finally) getting another team Challenge. Many fans have been waiting patiently for the return of teams, and War of the Worlds 2 promises we’re going to see two teams once again.
WARNING: This post is going to contain serious formatting spoilers. No elimination spoilers, but you will find out how many people actually win the season.
If you ask a Challenge fans when they last saw a team Challenge, answers may vary. Invasion was mostly two team, but only one male and one female won. Bloodlines was torn into two teams for half of the season, but ultimately only one team won. Battle of the Seasons was a team season, but we had nine teams of four. Cutthroat was definitely a team season, but there were three teams. The Ruins had two teams the whole time. That was a true team season. So, there are five possible answers with some level of accuracy.
Sadly, this season will not be a true team Challenge like The Ruins. In fact, the teams are going to bleed into each other throughout the season and people will be Purged throughout the season. In the end, four people will win. Not because there are only for people remaining on the US or UK team. By design, only four can win.
There are two reasons why having a big team Challenge hasn’t really been a thing for the past decade. Firstly, the “Champion” status has been given more prestige. A win on The Gauntlet doesn’t really hold weight to Tubro’s win or Cara Maria’s on Vendettas. We’s seen so many attempts to beef up competition that reverting to a less competitive format seems counterintuitive. However, I think this season will keep the competition solid. Purges up the stakes in the game when done correctly, and there are so many people starving for a win that the game will get really dirty really quickly.
The second reason why team challenges haven’t been so prominent is the prize money. Now, Challengers are motived by huge payouts at the end with no money on daily challenges. For individual or team formats, people are motivated to win to get power or stay out of elimination. If you look at Bloodlines, people threw every single team challenge. It wasn’t fun, and the competition was weak for half the season. Sure, you can make the daily Challenge worth $20,000 for a win (like on Invasion), but that is just a small piece of the million dollar puzzle we see now. I don’t think this will motivate people to try very hard like it did during Inferno seasons.
I’m excited to see how competitors are actually motivated to compete. I love a good social game, but it gets dull when there is no reason to win a daily competitions. Team Challenges have been great, and I have no doubt there is a way to keep them great. It just means the format has to make sense in the current climate of The Challenge. I also think four is a good number of winners. It keeps the game competitive and doesn’t demean the title of Champion.