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Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) founder Angel Munoz has discussed in an interview with Forbes the impact that his events had in eSports and his plans for the future.
Back in 1997, Munoz officially launched the CPL, which was a pioneer in terms of competitive video game tournaments, and for more than a decade, it held 60 events all over the globe and handed out more than USD$3,000.000.00 in cash prizes.
Almost six years have passed since the last CPL event, but players and fans alike still hold the memory of those tournaments dear as they staged some of the most nail-bitting matches and intense rivalries ever.
In 2010, both the CPL and the Cyberathlete Amateur League (CAL) were sold to WoLong Ventures, an investment and management company based in Singapore, but that was not the end of the video game road for Munoz, who recently launched Mass Luminosity, a social media community aimed at "creating powerful experiences for gamers and technology enthusiasts worldwide."
In this interview, Munoz talks about his new project, but also the creation of the CPL and the role that live streaming had in his events, among other subjects.
Can you talk about the early days of eSports and how you saw the Cyberathlete Professional League(CPL) grow over time?
Branding and advertising have always been tricky proposals in the gaming industry, as hardcore gamers normally reject both. The original idea was to brand large technology companies in a gaming environment that would be exciting for both the gamers and our corporate partners. It occurred to us that a videogame competition presented as a professional sport could be the right combination for both branding and advertising. So with that in mind we launched the CPL in the summer of 1997. The exponential growth of the league was completely unprecedented; we went from a small localized event to a worldwide recognized league in a matter of four years. Our events would attract thousands of gamers, we had official qualifiers in countries across five continents and by 2005 we were offering $1 million in cash prizes.
What impact do you think having live streaming back then would have had on the CPL?
Live play-by-play commentary was part of our events as early as 1999, and later we added in-game broadcasting (or streaming) using Half-Life TV, more commonly known as HLTV, which was officially launched by Valve in summer of 2001. According to some public sources, the current HLTV world record stands at 40,000 simultaneous spectators for the CPL finals in 2004. Additionally, back then we used Internet Relay Chat (IRC) as a data feed during our live tournaments, and would have about 100,000 people on our channels. These, of course, were in addition to the thousands of spectators attending our events. At its peak, the CPL hosted the most watched and most exciting gaming tournaments in the world.
To read the complete interview with Munoz, head over to Forbes' website.
I remember meeting him in person at CPL winter 07, nice guy. Had he never been involved in e-sports, it could have been years before we saw another entity implement the same concepts which the CPL popularized.
"lol@hundreds of people.
It wasn't that bad. Some teams got paid, some didn't. The CPL is 'not' going to pay up to those old teams and organizations. When you sign a contract, read it first. The CPL contract stated that the prize money could be voided if any badmouthing the event was said, or anything along those lines. It's a bit vague as I followed this a long time ago, but if you sign a contract like that, you shouldn't get anything in general.
TheCPL comes back and asks you to sign papers? Read them. Anything talking about prize money removed from your possession or voided? Don't sign and walk-out, or take the risk. Don't whine about it for years."
"They don't owe anyone anything. The players and teams that are 'owed' money are either ones that did not fill out their tax paperwork correctly, or players from the 'side tournaments' that sponsor money that the CPL had no hand in.
With that said who cares at this point, CPL is never going to be what it used to be. Angel cashed in the chips and sold out and make a shit ton of profit. He did not care about driving competitive gaming, he was just like any other businessman.. working for that almighty dollar.
People that strive for competitive gaming to be viewed along the lines of the NFL, MLB, or the NBA are so naive it is ridiculous. Competitive gaming will never be viewed as a norm to people in the United States. If you are a striving youngster to be a professional gamer I would tell you quite frankly to just give it up. Focus on school and your future.
CS 1.6 was what drove the competitive PC scene in the United States. You will NEVER get the coverage or hype for any other game simply because there is no tool like HLTV where you can view the whole map freely. A video cast is alright but it doesn't give the spectator the ability to watch every small move a player makes.
i guess i must be that one unlucky person?
tons of teams were never paid, not just a couple.
p.s. everyone already knew then getting prize money from cpl was so impossible that some of my teammates (ruuit, conte) didn't even bother sending the paperwork in.
85min well spent!:D
The final was actually even more dramatic than the way they portrayed it in the film - it went to two best of threes (lower bracket player won the first, though I can't remember if it was Rafik or John) and both matches went to the third map. We were running an extremely (unreasonably) tight schedule as it was, and just from the closeness of the first map I knew we were going to have time problems.
By the last map, the venue management was trying to get us to start disassembling the playing area. So I'm having this huge argument trying to stop them from cutting off the power while we have this huge crowd refusing to leave and going nuts for every frag. Rafik and John just keep playing through all of this without batting an eyelid. Good times :)
It had nothing to do with him selling... matter of fact that might be the only good thing he's ever done for eSports.
Post edited 2013-04-11 15:26:39
Not just, CPL, kode5/gamegune aswell, and lurpiss or another forum user who traveled the world.for events can probably name a good few more.
Not sure wether Eswc has cleared their old backdrop but they had quite some prizes left to pay when they went bankrupt somewhere around 08
haha i bet he didnt pay out 99% of the cash?
CPL still owe teams like Golden Five etc even up to 100k dollars (each team)...
they probably owe some teams up to 30k, are complete scumbags and thieves and angel munoz is a massive retard, but let's at least stay realistic with the numbers.
lurppis just did his typical cynic & cocky reply without reading
CPL still owe teams like Golden Five etc even up to 100k dollars (each team)...
I know that you lurppis gotta flame and whine at everyone, everywhere, i still like you BUT come on, at least read whole sentence before doing your typical cynic & cocky replies.
Yeah i might be wrong but its not 14k $ aswell i think, long time ago (i think it was MyM->AGAiN times) TaZ did a long interview for headshot.pl media (he was playing 1vs1 Fifa match with the reporter for 30 mins) and he said they owe them such money (my mistake might be that he meant PLN and 1$ = 3.5 PLN at that time), TaZ counted cost of lawyers and interest for default, travel costs etc, back in that day he said they gotta team up with other teams.
So yeah, you basically did write they owe G5 100k$.
And by 'Golden Five etc' i mean old 1.6 teams, old SK squad etc, there is no team that got the same name as they did in 2006 (G5 had LUq).
But yeah, no point in beating a dead horse.
Just to compete against top teams?
So yeah... this guy created memorable events, but besides that, you can say that he let many people pissed without their prizes.
Anyone who tried it and would like to share his opinion on this thing ?
A social media is designed to share informations, not playing games (although it might happen because people are just lazy kids and want to play all day).
There's 800k likes on his fb page and a lot of them are bots. The website is filled with giveaways and shit...
What is this guy even talking about ?
classic Angel Munoz
Post edited 2013-04-11 02:29:28
check out the bots/inactive accounts followers.
don't listen to the bs, he NEVER paid out the winnings.
Post edited 2013-04-11 03:55:49
correction: promised to hand out
i guess they were pretty clever at fucking people over. it's just a shame because as tournaments cpls were amazing, best i've ever attended probably, but the money stuff etc. is just ridiculous.
Post edited 2013-04-12 09:47:04
That being said the new company did offer teams a chance to file claims and have a third party to review them for past owed debts even though they had no legal responsibility to do so.
After all, Angel and company only sold the name and the technology not the company and its debts. Which while it sounds shady is completely legal in the country of sale so no harm no foul there.
He did do a ton to move esports forward, and yes he and his team could have done things better but all in all they did a pretty damn good job. The only group that has since done something nearly as big as CPL would be dreamhack.
Who wouldn't want to clear their debts and pocket that money? Right on Angel.
Also Rickeh, Yes they SHOULD insure the prize money however they aren't the ones legally responsible to pay it out. Think about it tax wise, If Company Y gives CPL cash and CPL Gives players said cash the money is double taxed.
edit: nevermind, I don't actually care about your senseless dribble, whatever your cause is. I hope A.M. pays you well, if you're not the retard himself.
Post edited 2013-04-11 20:44:10
I am not fake, I am not from the CS Community, and I have zero ties to Angel and or CPL. I just happen to know a former Admin of CAL, and have had sat down and discussed this with them as it pertained to other ventures I was involved in.
Anyways, Have a great day =).
Major sponsorship pulling out investing in CPL, CPL unable to pay out what they owed (tens of thousands), basically claiming bankruptcy, being bought out for next to nothing by an Asian company with sweet promises by Angel that all debts/money owing will be paid off to the gamers, and then living in exile away from the CS gaming community he ripped off to avoid the hatred he no doubt would attain. Yeah... stand up guy.
Post edited 2013-04-11 14:55:21
I went ahead and sent him a nice tweet saying this guy doesn't deserve any sort of praise for his esports contributions because he is a crook... If you have time feel free to shoot him a tweet so maybe we can get them to uncover the true side of CPL.
Post edited 2013-04-11 15:19:34
He peaked in the good days of CPL, he should stop now and just give advices to e-Sports related brands instead of this crap.
No flame, just my 2 cents.
Post edited 2013-04-11 16:19:31
It may irk a few of the 1.6 fanboys out there but gives you an idea of the people involved.
Good read btw.
Post edited 2013-04-11 21:39:09
tell me what you think about 1.6 players
the article is ok
Post edited 2013-04-11 19:48:31
I hope his new porject fails hard
Post edited 2013-04-12 21:07:42