One of Twitch/YouTube's most beloved gaming series is set for a comeback — at least for one afternoon. Awful Squad, the Polygon-produced livestream show centered around PUBG: Battlegrounds, will air a one-off episode on Thursday. The weekly live broadcast's series finale streamed on June 29, 2018, meaning this will be the first proper episode in more than four years.
Polygon announced the special stream on Oct. 13 via their social media platforms, including YouTube, where the show has amassed a cult following over the years. While Awful Squad initially aired on both Twitch and YouTube, this new installment will air exclusively on Twitch, as Polygon no longer uploads livestreams to YouTube, even as VODs. Polygon alums Justin McElroy and Griffin McElroy will return for the special episode, joining current staff members Patrick Gil, Simone de Rochefort, Clayton Ashley and Christina "XTINA GG" Gayton.
"AWFUL SQUAD RETURNS for a special stream at 3PM ET Oct. 20, at twitch.tv/polygon!" the announcement read. "We're riding again in PUBG with Pat, Simone, Griffin, Justin, Clayton, Tina, and... you?? Get your games updated because we will need zombies to join us. Keep an eye on this page because we're gonna post a poll about what custom game modes you want to see again. Don't worry, we're already planning on running some classics. Save the date and we'll see you on Oct. 20!"
Gil then added some additional details via Twitter, noting, "This will be fun. Quick post on what to expect and what not to expect cuz I know ppl have wanted this for a while: We will have goofs, some returning game modes, a couple of community games, the announced guests (Griffin and Justin), and the Polygon video team! We will also win. On the hold your horses front: This is a one time dealy and it's budgeted and planned exactly a normal weekly stream (which is what we wanted). we won't have flashy production or fancy surprises or big reveals. Think of it as less of a conclusive ultimate reunion stream and more of just like a bonus episode. In a good way."
Awful Squad premiered on May 11, 2017, with a stream featuring Gil, Justin, Griffin, Russ Frushtick, Charlie Hall and now-disgraced Polygon alum Nick Robinson. A typical episode featured a rotating cast of Polygon staffers playing PUBG: Battlegrounds (a.k.a. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds) just as the battle royal craze in gaming was taking off. The group tried and mostly failed to win the coveted chicken dinners awarded to round winners, with often hilarious results. They also often commissioned their fan base — known as "Awful Squad Jr." — for various custom game modes, including the popular zombie mode. The shown wrapped up after 54 episodes when the staff wanted to focus their attention on other games besides PUBG.
"I do not think there's any multiplayer game that I've played for that long, that consistently. Even Destiny, I would take like long breaks from. So it's held in there," Frushtick said during the 2018 series finale. "I don't want to knock PUBG because PUBG has held in there. But at this point, everyone you know is basically gunning towards PUBG and trying to make their own version of it, and some of them are doing a good job. So I think I think we just wanted to like mix it up and reboot ourselves, as it were, creatively because otherwise — you know what, my fear is is that we just like keep it going forever and even if we're not like emotionally engaged in it, we're still doing it, and it just doesn't feel right to me. I don't think that's good, as much as I know some people really love watching it, and we really appreciate guys watching, and we love Awful Squad Jr. and everything that they've done is awesome, and that community will remain and be strong."
While Awful Squad is no more, its spirit lives on in Polygon's weekly livestreams, where the current staff — including some who were around for the PUBG-centric show's run — playing various games each week on Twitch. The McElroys have also launched a YouTube stream series titled Victory McElroyale, where Justin and Griffin join their brother Travis McElroy to play Fortnite.