CPL Ended


The Cyberathlete Professional League, which had organised “pro” e-sport events since 1997, has ceased operations. All events proposed for 2008 have been cancelled. The organisation, fronted and founded by gaming evangelist Angel Munoz, did more to promote the idea of sponsored competitive gaming than any outside South Korea. I think this is something of a shame, even though I’ve struggled to have much personal attachment to the idea of e-sports during my years of covering them. After the jump: the final CPL release.

Effective immediately, the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) will cease operations. Therefore, all CPL events currently scheduled for 2008 are hereby canceled.

The CPL was launched in June 1997 with the pioneering mission of promoting and sanctioning video game competitions as a professional sport. For ten years the CPL events experienced increased growth – commencing with a small LAN event in Dallas, Texas, and culminating in world-class competitions across five continents.

However, the current fragmentation of the sport, a crowded field of competing leagues, and the current economic climate have prompted the CPL to suspend its pro-tournament operations. The CPL regrets that this news will disappoint those that were planning on attending the summer and winter events this year.

Many thanks to all of the sponsors and partners that helped CPL establish the groundwork for professional video game competitions. Their vision and pioneering spirit should always be remembered.

17 Comments

  1. Optimaximal says:

    How does this bode for Multiplay UK?

    Weren’t the CPL events the big draws of their last few LANS after they stopped trying for the award of ‘most sweaty nerds crammed in Newbury Racecourse’ once they realised they were the only ones competiting?

  2. Butler` says:

    GG Angel Munoz, poor guy has been disillusioned for years.

    It’ll have no effect on Multiplay’s iseries events, they have plenty of sponsorship and are going stronger than ever.

  3. dartt says:

    Back when I played CS in a clan, the CPL was the goal everyone was aiming for.

    It feels a little like the end of an era as I don’t think there anything else of quite the same scale and international recognition that can take it’s place as the gold standard for competitive gaming.

  4. nakke says:

    dartt: ESWC? WCG? There are still many internationally big events. Obviously CPL was one of the biggest ones, and it’s a shame that it’s shutting down, but the last few years hadn’t really been too good for CPL in terms of participants. Apparently they’ve had big problems paying out prize money, which lead to the silly-named G7 ‘esports interest organisation’ (or whatever) teams to boycott it.

    A shame also that the game they were developing, Severity, will probably be cancelled due to this. Would’ve been interesting to see what that turned out to be.

  5. Wozza says:

    They never payed out prize money, which left the big teams going elsewhere or just refused to play, what did the CPL expect would happen? maybe get a big name sponsor onboard and then only play 2 games, oops that already happend.

  6. Aubrey says:

    The CPL shifted its attention away from games that the hardcore actually played to whatever the flavour of the month was. They hand to make money somehow, sure, but I feel like sponsorship (which led to TELLING professionals what to play) was the wrong way.

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    Yeah, dropping Quake III dueling in favour of Painkiller seemed pretty random.

  8. Optimaximal says:

    Painkiller looks prettier!

  9. Jim Rossignol says:

    It really didn’t.

  10. Optimaximal says:

    Ok, I’ll rephrase & elaborate…

    Painkiller used graphical effects which Quake 3 didn’t, meaning they got sponsorship money from companies such as NVidia who make money from the latest overpriced RadeonForce MegaUltraTexture Nonce Edition cards…

  11. Jim Rossignol says:

    Man, I think I had a Nonce Edition.

  12. Mario Granger says:

    I think its a telling sign that I’m a hardcore gamer, and could care less that the CPL has ceased.

  13. Nick says:

    “Man, I think I had a Nonce Edition.”

    That was the one that used glitter to make the “ooh shiney” effects?

    Sorry.

  14. Nimic says:

    Now that I’ve quit CS, it really doesn’t mean very much to me. I was never good enough to play at the CPL of course, but the CPL Winter was always “the thing to see”, cheering on our favourite teams (whichever Norwegian team was playing, really).

  15. Radiant says:

    Everything wrong about ‘pro gaming’ is summed up in that Hitler Youth 2008 CPL logo at the top of this article.

  16. ExcaliburXVII says:

    Boooo. The CPL was f*cking awesome.

  17. Paul "Boffbowsh" Bowsher says:

    Actually we’ve never hosted CPL at i-series. We’ve done WCG etc. So CPL closing doesn’t directly affect us at all :)