The CPL closed for good
Gone Baby Gone
Rumors have been flying around for months, sadly they've become reality. For those that haven't heard, as of Thursday March 13th, the pioneering pro-gaming league, "the cyber-athlete professional" league has closed it's doors... indefinitely. Here is what they had to say on their site:
"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."
My 2 cents
Besides tough competition, I believe that the biggest reason they were forced to shut-down was due to poor marketing. Just as any other sport, e-sports need a large audience to become popular. Interestingly enough, they neglected the major marketing tool for all other sports, the television.
The future and closing remarks
Professional gaming hasn't really taken off. But there is hope. The CGS (champsionship gaming series) has impressed me with their dedication in bringing e-sports to television. Now that players are receiving salaries, signing contracts and being seen all over TV, the future of professional gaming looks bright. That said, we should never forget the league that started it all, The CPL. During a time when gaming was considered "geek-ish", they turned professional gaming from an idea into a reality, and created interest among thousands of gamers. I for one am thankful for all they have done for our sport, and it is indeed a sad time for us all.
June 1997- March 2008