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H1Z1 tournament to air on The CW in prime-time

Streaming series will precede the April 20 event

Daybreak Games
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.

H1Z1: King of the Kill is headed to prime-time television. The finale of a $300,000 tournament series is set to air April 20 on The CW Network at 9 pm ET.

Daybreak Game Company, formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment, launched H1Z1 into Steam’s Early Access in February 2015. The zombie-themed online multiplayer survival game was originally expected to be free-to-play, but it eventually split into two gamesH1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Kill — both retailing for $19.99. Throughout its lifespan the competitive mode, originally called Battle Royale, has been incredibly popular. It remains among the most-played games on Steam and the most-streamed games on Twitch.

The “tournament and eSports docuseries” will be called H1Z1: Fight for the Crown and will launch on The CW and CW Seed, that network’s streaming service. It will follow the Echo Fox team of esports athletes, which was purchased by NBA star Rick Fox in December 2015. The final match will air in prime time, on a Thursday.

It’s not the first time the team at Daybreak has hosted an elaborate competition. The H1Z1 franchise had its first major tournament in September 2015, and since then that team has spent a lot of time and energy building a complex spectator mode into the game engine specifically for broadcasting purposes.

The tournament will be hosted and run by Daybreak in partnership with Twin Galaxies, long considered the Guinness Book of the arcade world.

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