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Vol. 2, Issue 12
February 17, 2000

Game, Set, Match!

King of the CPL

by Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman




t just about this time last year, Vangie Beal and myself were working on putting together the Female Frag Fest ’99. We had a gaming service to help with match organization, but hit a major stumbling block when working out how to do live finals. End of it, we realized we needed a credible organization, with experience doing live events to help. Angel Munoz, CEO of the Cyberathlete Professional League was an answer to our prayers. Thanks to Angel, the FFF’99 finals were held at Ground ZERO, the CPL Event held in NYC in September, and were a huge success. In order to understand the world of professional gaming, you need to know the people and organizations behind it. So, starting with the one I know best, I caught up with Angel to ask about the CPL, and the future of professional gaming.

What is the CPL?

The Cyberathlete Professional League, or CPL, is the first LAN-based computer gamers league in the world and has elevated advanced computer gaming to a professional sport. We hold several large location based events a year and this year we will have two large events in Dallas, Texas, one event in California, an event in Singapore and one in Stockholm, Sweden. We are the only organization doing professional events internationally and we have the largest cash prizes of any well-known gamers league.

Why was the CPL created? How has it's mission/objective changed?

The CPL was created to bring well-deserved attention and sponsorships to advanced gamers and to establish standards for live events that would match the standards upheld by all professional sports. When we launched the league in 1997, these ideas were considered to be on the border of ridiculous but gamers have become much more comfortable with these concepts, thanks in part to the proliferation of our concepts and the wide exposure we now receive in the media. Our mission has remained unchanged and we believe that the CPL competitions will continue to grow and expand into a widely accepted sport.

What do you think about the increasing number of organizations, such as yours, existing to run these events for gamers? Do you think there is room for more than one?

I am not very familiar with many other organizations, we know that we created the concept of professional gaming, we know that our events are the most popular and followed in the world and we know that there is enough room for several leagues with different specialties. On the other hand, it does seem that everyone is launching a league these days and that may have a positive outcome, as it may help pro-gamers get more attention, prizes and sponsorships.

Do you think the CPL and other groups are effecting the gaming industry? If so, is it a good or bad influence.

It is quite obvious that the CPL has had an impact in the type of games that are being released. The gaming industry can no longer ignore cash purses of $100,000 per event or the fact that people are travelling from all over the world to participate in our tournaments. They can see that the CPL has established itself as the clear leader of competitive gaming and want to some are trying to incorporate their games into our events. When I meet with developers they all extol the virtues of their multiplayer implementation and I have to smile, because when we launched our league multiplayer was only an afterthought add-on for single player games.

Are they any plans to work with developers to create better tournament support within the games?

That really is beyond the scope of the CPL. On the other hand we are excited about the fact that many of the top CPL gamers are being invited to beta test not only games but a myriad of computer peripherals. The pro-gamers are the ones that should be consulted on these issues as they have a heightened awareness of the minute details that make the difference between a mediocre product and one that could excel in a professional environment.

What do you think the future of competitive gaming is?

Larger, better events and bigger prizes. And of course the international recognition of competitive gaming as a sport.

Is the CPL planning any international events for this year?

The CPL is finalizing the arrangements on its two newest divisions: CPL Asia and CPL Europe. Both divisions have events planned for this year with a Singapore event planned for June and a Stockholm, Sweden event planned for July. Next year we are planning to launch two additional divisions: CPL Australia and CPL Canada, if we identify the perfect partners to manage these operations.

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Credits: Illustration © 2000 Dan Zalkus. Game, Set, Match! is © 2000 Stephanie Bergman. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, you dolt.