Microsoft’s “Survival of the Grittiest” publicity stunt to promote the launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One had eight people strapped to a billboard in London and subjected to harsh elements for hours on end. Microsoft has officially declared a winner.
The Survival Billboard challenge kicked off on Thursday, Nov. 12, at 1 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET) and subjected eight brave Lara Croft fans to an incredibly tough stunt reminiscent of “The Hunger Games.”
The challenge involved eight volunteers who agreed to be strapped onto a billboard for 24 hours, while Microsoft made it rain and snow on them and live-streamed the whole thing on Twitch. Microsoft chose the eight volunteers from thousands of applicants willing to risk their health to hang immobilized for 24 hours on a billboard.
The contestants not only had to endure the natural weather conditions while strapped onto that billboard in the middle of London, but they also had snow cannons fired at them, gushing winds slapping them, rain and other brutal weather conditions.
As expected, none of the contestants were actually able to withstand the torture for the full 24 hours. After several excruciating hours, only three contestants were left standing as the finalists. One contestant even acknowledged that medics pulled her down from the billboard because she went into hypothermia.
If you’re wondering just what could be so exciting as to be worth 24 hours of torture, the answer is pretty vague. Microsoft promised a “trip inspired by Tomb Raider” as the Survival Billboard prize for the ultimate survivor, but didn’t give any specifics.
Those who stayed warm at home watching the live stream were able to vote on what weather conditions the contestants should face next. Microsoft finally announced the winner on Friday, Nov. 13, as 28-year-old Adam Carr.
“Massive congrats to all #SurvivalBillboard contestants but especially the No.1 survivor Adam Carr – what a champ!” Xbox UK announced on Twitter.
Carr survived for 20 hours on the billboard, outlasting all of his rivals. Exhausted and quite shaken by the whole ordeal, but still with a smile on his face, the winner repeatedly shouted “Are you not entertained?”