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Smosh Summer Games
Revived and re-energized, the Smosh team is back in action. (Image via Instagram)

They survived Defy. Now let’s see who survived the Apocalypse.

It’s that time of year, and this time it’s better than ever. Smosh is back from the dead and with it, the Smosh Summer Games. After the implosion of the Smosh parent company, Defy Media, and the struggle to find a new home, fans finally get Smosh Summer Games the way it was meant to be. “Smosh Summer Games: Apocalypse” is the fifth annual Summer Games event. The seasonal games on Smosh have been a smashing success — for the most part.

Last year’s “Smosh Summer Games: We Blew It” was the writing on the wall. With an eighth of the normal budget and a week left of summer, “We Blew It” was filmed in a park and featured an inflatable theme. While it starred the same beloved people, it drooped in comparison to past Summer Games. It was clear to anyone who had seen the previous years that something was wrong.

Smosh Summer Games: Wild West” the year before had the highest production value, with an epic Western tavern brawl to announce the games and the most competitors, despite the absence of one of the Smosh founders. The “We Blew It” games, like “Giant King of the Hill” and “Get Wet Slingshot Challenge,” while entertaining, didn’t have the same epic battling as competitions like “Shoot Out To the Death Challenge” and “Hangman In Real Life.”

After the death of Defy, Smosh and the Smosh family struggled. The duo went back to shooting out of the founder’s house and couldn’t get access to past footage or even use of the channel names for a while. They needed a miracle of mythical proportions. They got it when Mythical Entertainment, run by Good Mythical Morning hosts Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, saved them, buying the brand and the channels from the depths of Defy.

While it was a tough few months, Smosh has been reborn from the ashes of Defy. A lot of Defy dirt has come out in the “Smoshcast,” a podcast started shortly after their Mythical rescue. During episodes, fans got an inside look at how much Defy controlled and regulated the content that was being produced, including hearing how much creators had to fight for the Smosh Summer Games last year.

But how did Smosh Summer Games even get to this point with nothing else on the internet like it?

Well, back in 2002 Smosh crashed onto the internet, and by 2005 the sketch comedy channel was a smashing success on baby YouTube. Created by Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, Smosh started as two friends messing around and grew into more scripted, plotted comedic sketches. They racked up subscribers like no other channel with their off the wall comedy.

Eventually, the duo shooting from home were getting offers from big media companies wanting to buy their channel. In 2011, Smosh was bought by Defy Media for stocks in a company that never went public. The channel continued to grow until it wasn’t just Ian and Anthony anymore and it wasn’t just Smosh.

The channel expanded into three different channels, including Smosh Games and Smosh Pit. Smosh Games was a channel all about video games and several members were added. Mari Takahashi and former Defy-owned ClevverGames members Matthew Sohinki, Joshua “Jovenshire” Ovenshire, and David “Lasercorn” Moss all fell into the Smosh family back in 2011 to make the newest Smosh offshoot.

Other members joined along with way, like editor Wesley “Wes” Johnson and Damien Haas among a few others. While back on the main Smosh channel, the sketches raised in production value with several music videos and, for the first time, regular cast members other than the founders.

In 2015, the five new regulars to the channel’s sketches were announced. Keith Leak II, Noah Grossman, Olivia Sui, Courtney Miller and Shayne Topp allowed for more involved scenes and helped fill out what would become the Smosh family.

These five cast members became the Smosh Squad and filled the Smosh Pit channel with different videos. In the Defy offices, the Smosh Squad and the Smosh Games members were on opposite sides of the building. Despite being under the same channel name, these people barely interacted.

Smosh Summer Games was born from that division. Two producers, Matt Raub and Joe Bereta, brought the Smosh family together to give it that true friends having fun feel that the channels were founded on. Fans loved it. People liked it so much they created a Smosh Winter Games as well.

And it worked. It got the two sides joking and working together the way the people on screen wanted, despite the bosses back in the offices who wanted to keep them as separated as possible. Since the death of Defy, however, the control is back in Smosh hands and for the first time, Smosh Summer Games is completely up to the producers and the creators.

With the fitting theme of “Apocalypse” after the destruction of all that they had built with Defy, the competition is heating up this year with the teams Toxictea and Mushroom Clout going head to head. With apocalyptic twists on Summer Games favorites like “Punishment Zombie Shootout” and “Catch Your Meal,” it’s been a close Summer Games. The tea was spilt with “Smosh Family Feud” and things got chilly with “The End Of Netflix and Chill.”

It is still anyone’s game despite Toxitea pulling ahead in the latest “Tie-Break Paintball Challenge.” Teams aren’t just fighting for the win: There’s also an MVP, LVP, biggest fail and most epic moment awards on the line with the fan favorite belly flop competition still to air.

But it’s not all about the competition. Laughs also abound with the “Try Not To Laugh: Gauntlet” challenge, and four players try to survive the wastelands in “Maricraft,” a very popular segment revived on Smosh Games. On Smosh Pit, “Spelling Bee-kini Wax” trended on YouTube. The weekly podcast was also overrun with the players. For some Smosh members, this Summer Games is their first time on the podcast.

This Smosh Summer Games also marks the first time most of the Smosh family has returned to the channel after the death of Defy. Matthew Sohinki has been out of the country during filming and has not returned, so a new cast member joined the end times to take his place.

Despite the absence of Defy, co-founder of Smosh Anthony Padilla didn’t return. Padilla is off doing his own channel, but perhaps after the Mythical miracle, one day he’ll return to the seasonal games. Fans will just have to wait and see what next season holds. That is, of course, if their favorite Smosh people survive the apocalypse.

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