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Busy week for CPL

New sponsors announced, multicast unveiled, plus the chance to get yourself scanned into Quake

The CPL was busy last week, with a whole flurry of short press releases emerging from the pro-gaming event organisers. First up was the announcement of two new sponsors for the company's event this weekend, in the form of monitor manufacturer ViewSonic and CPU giant Intel. As well as providing cold hard cash, the companies will also be showing off their wares at the tournament - ViewSonic will supply no less than 50 of their new Perfect Flat 790 monitors for use in the Counter-Strike competition, while Intel will be demonstrating the Pentium 4 in action at this and future CPL events.

Rather more interesting to most gamers was the news that the weekend's Counter-Strike competition will be marking the first appearance of a beta version of Valve's Multicast Spectator Mode for Half-Life. This will allow people to watch Counter-Strike games live, including bird's eye views of the action. Valve's project manager Erik Johnson described this as "an important step in our ongoing efforts to advance the new worldwide phenomenon of professional computer game competitions". We must have missed the earlier steps in this "ongoing" effort, but hopefully soon we will know whether Valve are serious about pro-gaming, and whether Multicast Spectator is more than a glorified QuakeTV for Half-Life.

Last but not least in the barrage of press releases was an announcement that 3Q will be on site at the event with their Q-Clone Generator. This clever piece of kit is designed to scan in a 3D image of their face and "build a 3D clone" for use in games such as Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament and Counter-Strike. Apparently looking like a standard passport photo booth, the Generator will turn you into a game character for the princely sum of $6.99. And if you think that's a bit steep, consider that the usual price is $14.99.

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