Angel Munoz talks about CPL

April 11th, 2013 01:55

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.

France kubZ 
comeback :D
2013-04-11 01:56
United States jswan 
We don't want him back lmao.
2013-04-11 02:10
He should never comeback to esport.
2013-04-11 02:27
Why? Because he decided to sell the rights to the CPL and the company who bought them never did shit? Not really Angel's fault. 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.
2013-04-11 03:03
and steal tens of thousands from others. gg
2013-04-11 03:50
not sure which rock you've been living under but i'm fairly certain everyone here is referring to angel munoz & co stealing tens of thousands of dollars, not them stopping hosting events once they were already boycotted to begin with.
2013-04-11 05:05
I took these quotes from posts on other esports sites, but they are pretty telling. I'm not saying this is 100% accurate, but there are obviously two sides to this story. "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. Toodles"
2013-04-12 04:00
i won prize money from a cpl dallas' main tournament, filled all the paperwork correctly, sent it in time (and it arrived in time, as per tracking information). i also never badmouthed cpl until years later. 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.
2013-04-12 04:33
back in the CyberAthlete Amateur league, the forum admins actually implemented an automatic editing of the word "faggot" so that any forum user that typed that word would have it replaced with "Angel Munoz". if you were to type "dude, you're being such a faggot" the website would change it to "dude, you're being such a Angel Munoz". there was probably a reason for that.
2013-04-11 07:18
i saw an interesting docfilm called "Frag" about gamers,sponsors,organisations and in it they talked about Angel and why CPL is what it is today. 85min well spent!:D
2013-04-11 11:47
I'm glad they finally put this up, but it's a pity they didn't have any footage from the SA tournament. There was some amateur video floating around but as far as I know nobody contacted any of us about it. 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 :)
2013-04-11 17:39
He stole many thousands of dollars from players and sponsors... to this day most haven't even received their winnings from events like CPL 2004 LOL... It had nothing to do with him selling... matter of fact that might be the only good thing he's ever done for eSports.
2013-04-11 15:26
He was nice to talk to yeah, but he's wearing rolexes while we are still waiting for our prizemoney... 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
2013-04-11 20:03
you? what event did you go to?
2013-04-12 09:34
ffs Do you even know what he did?..
2013-04-11 21:25
oh the memories :( :'(((
2013-04-11 01:58
so ... ?
2013-04-11 01:59
slim shady
2013-04-11 01:59
"held 60 events all over the globe and handed out more than US$3,000.000.00 in cash prizes." 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)...
2013-04-11 02:01
that's interesting math considering the golden five only attended one cpl (winter 2006) and placed third for $14,000. 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.
2013-04-11 05:04
A very professional comment by calling someone handicapped because of not handing out the money.
2013-04-11 05:57
youre retarded, it's right for these people to get paid.. most the teams came from europe think about how much it costs to get from europe to dallas and then not getting your money..
2013-04-11 07:02
Did I say I support him stealing the money? heck no buddy
2013-04-11 16:40
honestly everything he says is correct and you hate on him cause he says angel munoz is a retard and complete disregard everything that matters in his post stop embarrassing us
2013-04-11 08:50
He was the one in charge so who else would you blame for? The sponsors? LOL
2013-04-12 20:59
United States ghep 
lurppis is right
2013-04-11 09:11
check my post V lurppis just did his typical cynic & cocky reply without reading
2013-04-11 13:50
Without reading? 100k dollars (each team) Concluding the old CPL ows several teams including NEO&co 100k each. I don't see him misinterpreting it anywhere.
2013-04-11 14:01
where did i write that they owe G5 100k $? 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 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.
2013-04-11 13:50
Im quoting you: 'CPL still owe teams like Golden Five etc even up to 100k dollars (each team)...' So yeah, you basically did write they owe G5 100k$.
2013-04-11 14:47
: 'CPL still owe teams like Golden Five ___etc___ __even up to__ 100k dollars (each team)...', i didnt say G5 won 100k dollars, didnt say any other team won 100k dollars, but there is a team which is fightining for that ammount of cash which is summed up winnings + interest for default. lurppis should ask TaZ cause he is acting way too cocky. 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).
2013-04-11 18:18
If you say "Golden Five etc even up to 100k dollars (each team)" you are saying that CPL owns G5 and other teams up to 100k each. Each. But yeah, no point in beating a dead horse.
2013-04-11 18:50
2013-04-12 09:35
lurpp, try at least respect the people, no matters what he has been before
2013-04-11 16:29
he cant, he is 100% cynic guy to the bone, typical forever alone virgin.
2013-04-11 18:21
i don't respect thieves just like i don't respect rapists or murderers. he made his bed, now he has to lay in it.
2013-04-11 20:21
I low how people reply to you just because your you. Oops im doing it now
2013-04-11 21:45
im wondering why even bother signing up and participate and EXPECT them to pay you. When years earlier they didnt pay...? Just to compete against top teams?
2013-04-13 05:50
it was THE tournament at the time and they did pay some teams, e.g. fnatic got paid from that same cpl. i guess it boils down to 1) it's THE event, it's the one event everyone really hopes to attend 2) ALL the best teams were there 3) you hope you get paid (it's not like all other events have always paid us)
2013-04-13 06:22
World 42bsk 
It's been a while and I'm not sure if it was ever resolved, but I remember the CPL having massive issues with unpaid prize money.
2013-04-11 02:04
Portugal ragdE 
I remember at that time, when cpl ceased operations, because of lack of support, there were several teams claiming prize moneys that were never payed, and after this "gentleman" terminated CPL, non of those prizes were payed after... (unless things changed some time after that, but dont remember reading anything about it, even after the CPL brand was sold. So yeah... this guy created memorable events, but besides that, you can say that he let many people pissed without their prizes.
2013-04-11 02:04
Greatest e-sport thief of all time!
2013-04-11 02:24
noone got rich being honest.
2013-04-13 05:52
I read the whole interview, but honestly besides a facebook for gamers (which no one really needs), I don't see what mass luminosity can offer to people (I mean to real people, not companies). Anyone who tried it and would like to share his opinion on this thing ?
2013-04-11 02:26
steam is exactly a facebook for gamers.. (profile, comments, play together..)
2013-04-12 09:37
Absotutely not. Steam is a platform proposing games, including social features. You create a Steam account to play games, not to show screen-shots of your awesome skills to your friends (although it might happen because it might be useful). 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).
2013-04-12 12:39
His business is really shady if you ask me. 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
2013-04-11 02:29
yeah seems shady to me 2 since I've never ever ever heard of that company or whatever it is.. and yet it has 800k likes on fb + 100k users on their site and shit.. I guess I just live in a garbage can so I wouldn't know anything that happens around the iNet/world.
2013-04-11 04:55
Xzi5ts comment on it is priceless
2013-04-11 02:42
2013-04-11 08:46
Hope CPL is better this time around.
2013-04-11 02:43
2013-04-11 03:04
Isn't this guy a fraud? I thought I read an article a long time ago on how this guy never paid the teams the winnings.
2013-04-11 03:22
He must go back to his soap "un, dos, tres".
2013-04-11 03:26
United States mah9 
what a unicorning angel munoz...
2013-04-11 03:45
+1, good times
2013-04-11 17:30
He is a thief!! So much bullshit??? He have never payed some Winners?!!!!! And then he sold the company to Singapore???? Is People stupid enough too beleave that man??!!! If a Company buys a other firm is because they wont to get bigger and better... Not close it down. Cpl crashed because of The money they owe to nip, mouz, col, mtw, Noa, team3d, catch-gamers, eol, team9, The-titans and so on.... Sry for my english
2013-04-11 03:53 check out the bots/inactive accounts followers. what. a. joke. don't listen to the bs, he NEVER paid out the winnings.
2013-04-11 03:55
Peru dbie 
pay all the money you owe to our progamers
2013-04-11 04:15
Money aside, his the tournaments were the best ever.
2013-04-11 04:30
"...held 60 events all over the globe and handed out more than USD$3,000.000.00 in cash prizes..." correction: promised to hand out
2013-04-11 05:01
Yet he still got a lot of attention for eSports, which is a good thing! Not supporting his thievery or anything else that is shady about this guy, but I remember the hype around CPL back in the days at least!
2013-04-11 06:00
That's like saying people such as Don King doing good for boxing because they made interesting fights. They did more bad than good.
2013-04-11 11:14
epic comparison m8. America beneeth England!
2013-04-11 17:47
cyx | 
Russia Juse 
you burn like the sun, rofl
2013-04-11 13:03
Does he owe smth for ur finnish squad back in days Tomi?
2013-04-11 13:36
yeah we never got our $3,000 from cpl winter 2006 but obviously it's not much compared to most teams :D
2013-04-11 16:34
well, it's still money :) even if it were 10 dollars, it was promised to be paid.
2013-04-11 20:18
How did teams times after times attend to his events, if they didn't get their winnings? Or was it only the last year :) ?
2013-04-11 21:07
some teams got paid, some didn't. they used a lot of shady techniques e.g. you had to sign a form to compete that said if you talk about prize money you forfeit it, they only gave you a month or so to turn in the forms "required" to make the transfer (obviously bullshit since we've never had to do that with any other event) and they wouldn't send a lot of the teams the forms trying to avoid it, then claimed the papers didn't arrive on time (obviously only accepted real mail) etc. 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.
2013-04-11 21:15
Didn't they once sell CPL to what was supposedly an arab company that claimed to have lots n lots of money. But after several lies they admitted to being fake? Pretty sure I read about it on g0tfrag many years ago.
2013-04-11 21:32
i recall reading something similar as well, i believe that tonya chick (or whatever) wrote something on col's site (could still be up) to explain the lies etc.
2013-04-11 21:35
he looks a 'little' light in his loafers
2013-04-11 05:05
interesting B)
2013-04-11 05:07
United States BMFX 
There's a bunch of variables to the CPL prize money debacle. At the time of the CPL Worldtour the writing of the contracts if i am correct is very clear, the sponsors were to be held responsible to handle to prize money and not the company itself. 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.
2013-04-11 05:52
Good point.
2013-04-11 06:00
2013-04-11 07:29
If I understood this correctly, then Angel is a smart dude. He got out when he could and he did it legitimately. If so, that's real shitty on his part but sounds like he doesn't really give a fuck. Who wouldn't want to clear their debts and pocket that money? Right on Angel.
2013-04-11 10:01
>Fuck over a fuckload of people. 'Right on man!!!' Fuck you, man.
2013-04-11 14:49
Intresting indeed but ESL did well to
2013-04-11 17:51
It's the sponsors job to pay out the money to the company, yes, but it's the companies job to assure that the prizes being advertised are paid to the players and to the teams.
2013-04-11 19:52
You seem to know a lot about this. And you only just registered to come and tell us all that, how friendly :)
2013-04-11 20:06
New to HLTV yes. However not new to eSports, especially the business side of it. I prefer to sit back and watch / learn then comment. Figured this one may finally be worth registering for. 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.
2013-04-11 20:38
Everything about you is fake. Name one thing you've done that is actually real? 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.
2013-04-11 20:44
Everything about me is fake? Well that's a warm welcome haha. 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 =).
2013-04-12 01:25
2013-04-11 06:14
it's a financial magazine.
2013-04-11 07:35
You're kidding that you never heard about forbes?
2013-04-11 16:03
Finland teco 
Most of the younger people have terribly bad general knowledge this day. :/
2013-04-11 19:30
You are the man, Munoz. ;)
2013-04-11 07:42
cal-i sold to sigapore, where was under a rock, o well, maybe the not so distant future was what they had in mine when they had CPL. Shame that CPL was sold to an asian market, european countries like cr have a large market of gamers. especially the cs scene, even though cr arent big on events they have a growing scene of gamers, CPL events could host a event in Prague but i dont know if they will get the support, 1.6 is still in development in there eyes and any thing near a major event is treason in there eyes, cr gaming scene has died since the start to many issues, i dont remeber but an all cr team that might had a chance at CPL was EDO Eccentric Danger Optical
2013-04-11 08:41
40k? i remeber a couple finals with 60k plus viewers in hltv hell atleast 55k
2013-04-11 08:46
way more than that
2013-04-11 17:33
Thief talking about new thief and fake project. Get lost dude, we never forget
2013-04-11 08:51
I never liked that mexican, always looked shady as fuck. The article is full of shit, making him out to be some pioneering hero. The truth is something more like this : 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.
2013-04-11 08:52
+1 anyone who thinks otherwise just doesn't know what went along with Angel.
2013-04-11 21:24
That guy! :S is full of Shit
2013-04-11 08:59
angel munoz was a popular word for people on the cal forums.
2013-04-11 11:49
never forgat
2013-04-11 12:02
I miss CPL!
2013-04-11 13:25
2013-04-11 13:35
who is still giving this clown any airtime?
2013-04-11 14:13
and how about scott valencia who is still a shareholder at ? who worked for cpl,wsvg and cgs and magically all there had money problem like wsvg were overspending from intel and cgs had some budget problem. he lied to the community he embezzled some thousands dollars from cgs while he was competing against them. So i wont get surprized if he and angel munoz did the same and worst when cpl was on the go and got sponsor money for themselves or to invest them in other ways for their personal needs. I personally feel disgust for them,the cpl and myself that i played at 2 of their tournaments.....
2013-04-11 14:40
good old memories..
2013-04-11 14:55
United States p0s 
If anyone cares the author of this article has a twitter 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.
2013-04-11 15:19
United States p0s 
thanks...hopefully he takes notice!
2013-04-11 16:02
2013-04-11 18:19
I sent him an e-mail suggesting to check out this thread.
2013-04-11 15:57
This dude irritates me. He bought hundreds of thousand Facebook followers on Fiverr and is bragging about his huge network on Forbes. Have you ever seen his website? I thought I was watching a shady CPL website from 2002. Mass Luminosity, you mean MASS SCAM? 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.
2013-04-11 16:07
he was some sort of a pioneer and brought e-sport forward even though he did some questionable things. let's not completely forget that.
2013-04-11 16:19
It's never one man who does all the work. There are out there people at his time who did great work to boost up competitive gaming too. I don't think he was a pioneer that's why i am saying this above.
2013-04-11 19:18
I believe in Ozstrik3r's skill more than this guy's words.
2013-04-11 16:48
People should stop giving him, his company and The CPL attention. Wrote this piece a while ago when they had that Facebook vote on what games they'd host a tournament for (lol) It may irk a few of the 1.6 fanboys out there but gives you an idea of the people involved.
2013-04-11 17:04
Read this article, Angel Munoz isn't the only man to thank here ! Good read btw.
2013-04-11 21:39
Good read!
2013-04-11 22:55
great read
2013-04-12 00:22
It may irk a few of the 1.6 fanboys out there but gives you an idea of the people involved. tell me what you think about 1.6 players //off// the article is ok //on//
2013-04-12 12:03
I don't understand your post :(
2013-04-12 17:37
why woult that article irk a few of the 1.6 fanboys?
2013-04-12 21:17
Because of the last few paragraphs. I know there isn't actually anything there that would enrage a normal person, but they're a special breed.
2013-04-12 21:20
after reading the comments... fuck that guy
2013-04-11 17:46
Finland teco 
Fucking greedy piece of shit. :)
2013-04-11 19:32
maybe when hes paid fata1ity his 50k or watever he owes him, then he can come back
2013-04-11 19:48
rofl and they deleted all of the comments about his scamming on the forbes site
2013-04-11 20:31
we found him now burn him at the stake
2013-04-11 20:53
FUCK ANGLE MUNOZ all I have to say. He fucked over NA esports (and ofc european/asian ones to a smaller extent). He just ruined the image of NA LANs. Fuck him.
2013-04-11 21:16
go home munoz, u will find no love from us
2013-04-11 21:40
I think this article should be deleted since it is only serving as advertisement for someone who obviously screwed up lots of teams and hurt esports.
2013-04-11 21:50
again? let that douche go away I hope his new porject fails hard
2013-04-12 21:07
shady as fuck
2013-04-12 21:21
hmm led zeppelin thats the way, Louis Williams, Xavier,
2013-04-13 02:11
rain song led zeppelin - you can find it on hmm a 5th, Lucious Holland
2013-04-13 02:15
2013-04-17 16:20
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.