The Best Squid Game: The Challenge Players, Ranked

Squid Game: The Challenge, based on the series Squid Game, is a highly entertaining, bingeable reality competition series. The competition starts with 456 competitors who are all competing to ‘survive’ and win the prize. This series is the most contestants ever in the history of reality shows. On top of that, while contestants aren’t fighting for their lives, it is a life-changing prize of $4.56 million, also the largest single cash prize ever in game or reality show.

It took only the first game, the popular Red Light Green Light game that appeared in the original Korean series, for more than half of the competitors to get knocked out. The numbers continued to dwindle from there with games from the show as well as new games and through interesting twists. It’s difficult to get to know players since many are eliminated before fans really get to see their full potential. But through the first five episodes, a few players stood out for different reasons.

10 Bryton is the Shows Villain

Bryton from Squid Game: The Challenge in his green uniform, hand up in the air.


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Immediately positioning himself as the show’s villain, Bryton did not mince words when discussing how much himself and his confidence. He instantly formed bonds with other bigger, athletic men. Yet, he continued to rub a lot of people the wrong way with his attitude. A self-professed athlete, Bryton has a chip on his shoulder, and his combative tone puts an instant target on his back.

Bryton survived longer than fans anticipated, but was also sent out in a way no one expected. Fans weren’t necessarily rooting for Bryton to win, but his presence in the beginning made the competition interesting. Every competition, after all, needs a villain to shake things up and cause drama, and he fit the role perfectly.

9 Chaney’s Confidence Made Her the Enemy For Some

Chaney from Squid Game: The Challenge being interviewed, sitting down.

Chaney seems to have an overinflated ego, boasting in her interview about how she’s not only beautiful but also smart. This did not help to endear her to other contestants. She rubs a few people the wrong way in the game, like Dash who instantly recognized that she was the leader of a group. But she is also a strong and confident woman. She formed a tight alliance with three others and was clearly the mastermind behind it.

Playing strategically, Chaney has put herself in a good position to have allies who will protect her. These allies include other players who could be a great asset to her in physical competitions and other areas of the game. She’s very smart but plays down her intelligence in the game, which could be a lethal combination.

8 Phalisia is Public Enemy Number One

Phalisia from Squid Game: The Challenge in front of 6 Jack-in-the-boxes, hands on her face looking concerned.

Phalisia became public enemy number one with fans when she got the power to vote out three people and chose two fan favorites, Stephen and Rick, to send home. There’s no denying she’s playing a good, and aggressive, game early on. Even her ally, Daniel, admitted he would have made the same move had he been in her position. Everyone also commended her smart move, removing the player who had just received an advantage in the next game for that very reason.

She has made true alliances with some great players, which she could use to help get her farther in the game. The emotions she showed in one of the most stressful moments when she decided to risk and play in a game that could get her eliminated were heart-wrenching. She could be the dark horse who has a laser focus on the prize, willing to both take risks to get it and take out people even if she’s unpopular because of it.

7 Lorenzo’s Attitude Lost Him the Game

Lorenzo from Squid Game: The Challenge in a crowd of others, looking stoic.


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Best The Challenge Seasons (Per Variety)

Season Number

The Inferno

Season 8


Season 21

Fresh Meat II

Season 19

The Duel

Season 13

Free Agents

Season 25

Lorenzo was eliminated in the first half of the competition, and it didn’t even have anything to do with gameplay. It was mainly the result of his attitude. LeAnn chose to have him eliminated because he had been rude to her on numerous occasions. His negative energy was disliked by many in the game.

Lorenzo’s no-care attitude and unwavering confidence in who he is as a person, however, is admirable. But some of his actions immediately put a target on his back, like when he snuck an extra container of food on the first day. Nonetheless, Lorenzo made good friends, with several ladies crying when it was announced that he was eliminated. He brought a villainous energy to the competition that was devilishly good to watch.

6 Trey is the Ultimate Underdog

Trey from Squid Game: The Challenge licking the Dolgana cookie, looking up at the time.

The ultimate underdog, Trey is the player that many fans have been rooting for. His close relationship with his mother, who is also playing with him, shows a sensitive side, as he cares just as much about her game as his own. He has an instant advantage, since the two are an inseparable pair. He revealed part of the reason why he and his mother are so close in interviews. Trey recalled how his lung collapsed six months earlier, putting him in the hospital for an extended period of time. During this time, both his mother and girlfriend were by his side.

Those types of things, he noted, really put life and what’s important in perspective. This event in his life portrays him as relatable and sensitive. Seeing the anguish on his face every time his mother is at risk of being eliminated makes fans want both of them to succeed. Sadly, with the twist revealed at the end of episode 5, either Trey or his mother will be eliminated in the marble game.

5 LeAnn is More Than She Appears

LeAnn from Squid Game: The Challenge in plainclothes being interviewed before the start of the show.

LeAnn was a stand-out from the first competition. She was mere feet from crossing the finish line, standing as still as a statue to try and make it out alive. She even got corny music to accompany her final sprint to the end. This made her instantly a player to watch in the competition.

She might appear to be a sweet older lady, but there are a lot of layers to LeAnn. She revealed she was a talented athlete when she was younger and a retired editor who knows how to dive deep into issues and presumably people, too. In her conversations with Trey, she quickly marked who would be the threats and wasn’t afraid to punch in Lorenzo’s number to make her dislike of him known. LeAnn could be one of the more quietly ruthless TV heroes in the game.

4 Bee Quietly Waited for Her Moment to Shine

Bee from Squid Game: The Challenge sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of lines of others in the game.


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Bee was somewhat of a background player for the first part of the show. This was until she stepped up to the plate to be team captain during the Warship (Battleship) challenge. It was then that fans got to learn more about her. Incredibly smart, purporting to be a member of MENSA, Bee realizes her intellectual advantage but doesn’t flaunt it. She proved she is more than just a confident talker when she led her team to victory.

She positioned their ships in strategic spots to evade capture and even correctly predicted one of the first coordinates the other team would select. Most important, however, Bee comes across as someone who is likable. She is playing strategically, knowing when to step up when it could help, but also when to fade into the background, so she isn’t on anyone’s radar nor considered a threat.

3 Stephen Won Over Fans By Becoming a Mentor

Stephen from Squid Game: The Challenge being viewed from a camera, the target placed over his face.

Stephen instantly won over fans when he took Rick under his wing and formed a strong bond with the older man. When other teams might have been reluctant to be partnered with Rick because of his age, Stephen didn’t hesitate. This kind of nice guy attitude made fans become immediately attached to him.

His interview showed that, like many others in the game, Stephen had a rough upbringing. But all he wanted to do was win for his family and kids. A TikTok star, Stephen was instantly at a disadvantage when he lost his best friend in the first challenge. Fans were rooting for him but sadly, in a tragic plot twist, he was eliminated at the hands of Phalisia.

2 TJ is a Fan Favorite Family Man

TJ from Squid Game: The Challenge sitting on his bed, looking sad.

The way TJ speaks about his wife and how she has humbled him and made him a better man has fans instantly on his side. His leadership of his team during the Warship challenge was incredible. Fans also appreciate how much he truly cares for the others, breaking down crying when he manages to get his team through the game without losing a single person.

TJ is most like Seong Gi-hun from Squid Game in that he might have started out as someone who had an ego when he was playing professional basketball. But someone or something (in the case of TJ, it was his wife) changed him and he became a better person. TJ seems likely to be the person who would sacrifice himself for another in the game if it means showing that he is a decent human being.

1 Rick Was Unfairly Eliminated

Rick from Squid Game: The Challenge looking worried.

The TV drama got really dark and fans were devastated when Rick was eliminated, especially since it had nothing to do with losing a game. It was simply because he formed a strong alliance with others and was well liked. Fans loved to see that at least he got to do what he set out to do, which was help a team win a challenge and be proud of it.

As the oldest player there, Rick was lovable because of his sweet attitude. He has a sharp mind as a retired physician and fans loved the father-son bond he forged with Stephen. Fans would love to have seen Rick continue to play in other games because he likely had a lot more to offer, both physically and mentally.

Squid Game The Challenge Poster

Squid Game: The Challenge

Follows contestants as they compete in challenges based on the Korean children’s games featured on the Squid Game to win a $4.56 million cash prize.

Release Date
November 22, 2023

Main Genre

Reality-TV, Game Show


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