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King of the CPL

By Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman
Vol. 2, Issue 12
February 17, 2000 


How do you feel about a universal ranking system for gamers?

When organizations talk about a universal ranking system they seem to believe that the CPL will agree with their methodology and in some way use their system or promote it, this is clearly not going to happen. The only way for a gamer to be ranked high in our league is by playing in our tournaments. Each year we crown a CPL Champion and the point system we use, only accounts for performance data generated at our events.

In order to accumulate points for the CPL a player must physically attend a CPL event, if I remember right. Are there any plans change this to allow for more players to be eligible?

No. All major sports require a commitment from the players to leave the comfort of their house and physically go to a park, court, stadium, etc. The CPL follows the same principles, but through our growing number of CPL Qualifying Centers we want to make the league more accessible to the gamers that may find our events a bit remote. We envision having an official qualifying center in every major city of the US within the next two years.

Where would you like to see the CPL in 10 years?

In 10 years I want the CPL to be a multi-billion dollar franchise with operations in every major city of the world, holding large international events with millions of spectators worldwide. I also want the top professional gamers to be generating millions in sponsorship and prize winnings.

How realistic do you think that is? (Genuinely curious, I have no idea myself)

When I launched the CPL I could have listened to the hundreds of "realistic" people that told me it was a preposterous idea. Now, people worldwide hail the CPL as the standard for all LAN tournaments. I extrapolate from that experience that an average reasonable person would predict that the chances of professional game tournaments becoming a multi-billion dollar business are close to zero but then again the CPL team is neither average or reasonable :)

Therefore, my prediction is that we have a great chance of building a new sport and solid business around that new sport that could in fact create a new billion dollar industry.

Take "professional" wrestling as an example, if someone told you that if you dress up two people in sometimes ridiculous costumes, put them up in a ring and have them pretend to fight each other, you could build a billion dollar business, would you have been skeptical let's say ten years ago? ...But Vincent McMahon did it and today that franchise is worth about a billion dollars.

Next month is your next event...what do you expect to see there? How many participants, any workshops, etc.

What we are going to see at the Razer/CPL event in Dallas is the highest attendance from international gamers in the history of competitive gaming. Here's a current breakdown:

- 7 gamers from United Kingdom
-10 gamers from Sweden
- 4 gamers from South Africa
- 1 gamer from Poland
- 2 gamers from Norway
- 1 gamer from New Zealand
- 3 gamers from Netherlands
- 8 gamers from Germany
- 7 gamers from France
- 1 gamer from Denmark
- 22 gamers from Canada

We also expect gamers from Russia, Greece and other countries to sign up when we re-open our tournament registration.

WOW...why do you think you're seeing such a large international turnout?

I think for two main reasons:

1. Our cash purses for our large events are now pushing six figures

2. The CPL tournaments have an international reputation of being fair and well run.

Do you think events like QuakeCon raise the standard for what is expected at LAN Parties? How will you compete?

I am happy to see that QuakeCon has incorporated some of our standards into their events. Let's not forget that many event standards, like having all of the tournament computers exactly the same, were created by the CPL. I have only the highest respect for the organizers of QuakeCon and I also admire the fact that they have maintained that operation non-profit for the benefit of id's customers.


- Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman needs to come up with better taglines.


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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.