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Ark: Survival Evolved's biggest ever tournament is open to the public

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Studio Wildcard, maker of the prehistoric-themed online survival game Ark: Survival Evolved, has announced their final event for 2015's Survival of the Fittest series. Open to anyone with a PC, it will pit 70 popular Twitch streamers against 160 qualifying contestants in the biggest match ever attempted.

Tribes of six players will need to move quickly to log into the servers when they become available at noon Eastern time on the following days:

  • Saturday, Sept. 26
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29, Thursday, Oct. 1 and Saturday, Oct. 3
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6 and Thursday, Oct. 8
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13 and Thursday, Oct. 15

The winning tribes from the preliminary rounds will be invited to a second round, held again at noon on Oct. 17 and 20. The final championship round, which will add 70 popular Twitch streamers to the mix, will be held October 24. Every contestant will receive a $100 Steam gift card, and the top tribe will split $24,000.

The format has been modified somewhat since the first tournament held in August. Now at various points in the match a boss creature — including a fire-breathing dragon — is released onto the map. Players who tame these creatures can use them to hunt down other survivors and eliminate them — that is if the acid rain and other Evolution Events don't get them first.

Ark, which has sold more than two million copies already on PC, is scheduled for a June 2016 launch on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Already compatible with the Oculus Rift, it will also feature support for Sony's Morpheus VR set.

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