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CPL "changes gears"...

... drops clutch and stalls engine

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

In one of the most creative press releases we've seen in recent years, the CPL has announced that it is "changing gears", which (loosely translated into English) means that they couldn't find enough sponsors and have had to cancel two of the four events which they had planned for the USA this year - August's Counter-Strike tournament and October's Quake III Arena event. Of course, this isn't in any way to be construed as a reduction in the CPL's activities in its native country, merely a "revised approach to competitive gaming in the United States [which] promises to yield stronger growth for the CPL through consolidated efforts".

This change of gears leaves a $15,000 charity event at the end of June featuring Quakeworld and Doom II competitions, and the massive CPL World Championship Counter-Strike event in December, which will see 96 teams from all around the world battling it out for the CPL's biggest prize-purse ever - $150,000 in novelty-size cheques. These events had both already been announced and prize money stays the same, which suggests that the consolidation is a result of a lack of funds or demand rather than as a means of making the prize funds for the remaining events bigger. It should have a positive effect in the long run though, as instead of holding several small competitions each year the CPL will henceforth "only hold a minimum of two large-scale tournaments a year with cash purses of at least $150,000 each".

The CPL has also revealed that the directors of their overseas division will be meeting with founder Angel Munoz on June 28th to determine which game or games the league will use in future, and although "the CPL has not solidified its choices for the game platforms of 2002", they are already promising to repeat this year's World Championship with another global Counter-Strike competition next year. Hopefully the other big event next year will be a duel tournament, as at this stage in pro-gaming's evolution we're not convinced that teamplay is the way forward. Update -

Since this story was posted CPL founder Angel Munoz has contacted us to correct our comment that the organisation "couldn't find enough sponsors" for their US events. Apparently "sponsors for both cancelled events had been identified but unannounced as we determined what was the best approach for the CPL in the US".

"We really want to do what is best for the sport and we think that if we just continued doing smaller events we were going to become more of a LAN operator and less of a league", Angel explained. "Under this new system we actually have opened the road for LAN operators worldwide to become part of the CPL process, and we are again building the sport from the grassroots levels up. We feel that the CPL had somewhat lost a sense of its role in the community, as many have told us, and that this move puts us back on the right track."

Source - press release

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