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2, Issue 12
February 17, 2000
King of the CPL
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 FFF99 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.
is the CPL?
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.
was the CPL created? How has it's mission/objective changed?
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
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.
you think the CPL and other groups are effecting the gaming industry?
If so, is it a good or bad influence.
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
they any plans to work with developers to create better tournament
support within the games?
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.
do you think the future of competitive gaming is?
better events and bigger prizes. And of course the international
recognition of competitive gaming as a sport.
the CPL planning any international events for this year?
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.
do you feel about a universal ranking system for gamers?
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.
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?
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
would you like to see the CPL in 10 years?
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.
realistic do you think that is? (Genuinely curious, I have no
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 :)
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.
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.
month is your next event...what do you expect to see there? How
many participants, any workshops, etc.
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
- 4 gamers from
- 1 gamer from
- 2 gamers from
- 1 gamer from
- 3 gamers from
- 8 gamers from
- 7 gamers from
- 1 gamer from
- 22 gamers from
expect gamers from Russia, Greece and other countries to sign
up when we re-open our tournament registration.
do you think you're seeing such a large international turnout?
for two main reasons:
cash purses for our large events are now pushing six figures
CPL tournaments have an international reputation of being fair
and well run.
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
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