The Cyberathlete Professional League Interview - Angel Munoz
Company: The Cyberathlete Professional League
Person Interviewed: Angel Munoz
Company Position: Founder and President
Launched June 1997, the CPL was the first organization to advance computer game competitions to the level of a professional sport. Today, the CPL is the global leader in competitive computer gaming, having held live tournaments on five continents. The CPL has also sanctioned a large number of qualifying tournaments held in over thirty countries. Angel Munoz is the founder and president of the Cyberathlete Professional League, founder of the Adrenaline Vault website, owner of New World Investments and a member of the board of directors of several technology companies along with being involved in a large amount of different projects.
Hello Angel, thanks for your time.
Could you tell us a little about yourself? Where did you grow up?
I am the founder and president of the Cyberathlete Professional League or CPL. The CPL is the world's first professional computer gamer?s league, I grew up in New York City and on the carribean island of Puerto Rico.
What were your favourite pass-times? What about now?
I had a very active outdoor life and played basketball everyday. My interest in electronic games came later in life, first with arcades and then with video and PC games. My favourite pastime is training at the gym; there is a group of former athletes that encourage me daily through the strenuous workouts. My other favourite pastimes are: gaming, reading, music, arts, movies and stimulating conversations.
I definitely enjoy playing video games often, last week I completed the FPS game ?Chaser? and now my son and I are re-playing Jedi Knight 2 on the Xbox.
A lot of gamers these days get a lot of feedback telling them they are wasting their time, yet you present to them a professional league. What arguments would you use against the ?nay-sayers??
I think a balanced life is the best approach. Extremes of any type are normally injurious to oneself and others. Having a practice schedule that does not interfere with school and other activities is the best approach and will probably gain automatic support from parents.
There?s been a lot of talk lately about the controversial views of Senator Lieberman concerning the violence displayed in the latest gaming titles. What is your personal opinion on these statements, and what do you think of games such as Postal 2, where graphic gore reigns king?
The issue of violence in games has been minimized in the media, by the recent published studies extolling the virtues of gaming. For example, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that gaming is actually a very social activity and that gamers are neither antisocial nor nerdy; and researchers at the University of Rochester found that young adults who regularly play games full of high-speed car chases and gun battles have better visual skills than those who do not.
There is a postive change in the societal perception of gaming; and the illusion that violent games create violent behavior is quickly disspating.
What does your typical day look like, if there is such a thing?
No such thing. I can summarize it as follows: b u s y. I am currently working on 2005 and 2006 events for the CPL and on a few new projects for the company.
How do you, as creator and president, see the CPL? What do you hope to achieve?
I see it as a true professional sports league. What I am striving to achieve is for the general public to see it that way too.
What would you say was the biggest challenge now and during the initial start of CPL?
Everything in the formation of the CPL was a challenge. There were no blueprints, no one to emulate, no other organizations to imitate, so we had to create everything on-the-fly. Today, our biggest challenge is managing the huge crowds that come to our events and to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable time.
In just 3 months, registration for the 2004 events will be opened. What kind of turnout do you expect?
It will be the largest event ever for the CPL. We expect about 10,000 online registrations.
Where do you see yourself, gaming and the CPL in 5 years?
By then the CPL would have spawned a few new ideas and businesses. Soon the first one should be launched. Must wait and see :)
With Halflife2 going gold soon, will there be tournaments held for its deathmatch features and the probable Team fortress classic 2 and CS2 that will follow?
We are focusing on Halo for the PC right now, but HL2 is definitely on our radar.
Japan is notorious for its original take on games (Dance Dance Revolution, Cosplaying, etc) and the cultural icon that it has become. Do you expect a similar trend to catch on in the states?
We hold informal Dance, Dance Revolution competitions at our events. They are a blast to watch; I think the trend has already started.
Paramount blames the low sales on their latest Tomb Raider movie on the less-than-expected success of the like named game, whereas one of the more hyped games of this year ? Enter the Matrix ? turned out to be a big letdown. What is your view on game-based movies or movie-based games?
In my opinion, with very few exceptions both tend to be very poor in quality.
What is your favourite game genre and why? What would you say your current favourite title is? What?s your most anticipated title?
FPS games, because I like the immersion. Halo is my favourite title and HL2 is my most anticipated title.
With the price of average games slowly rising toward the 60$ mark, while their singleplay lifespan seems to keep dropping (Unreal2, Red Faction 2) , do you think multiplay is the future of gaming?
No. I think both single-player and multiplayer are both the future of gaming. One addresses those that prefer leisure gameplay and the other addresses the hardcore gamer.
With STEAM, Valve introduced an innovative way of delivering games to the user by keeping most of the client software on special servers. Do you think other companies will catch up, or is this idea just a novelty that?s bound to be forgotten soon?
STEAM is an interesting concept. I am a bit sceptical about its implementation right now, but only time will tell if STEAM is truly the new way for electronic content delivery.
With so many sequels hitting the shelves soon (HL2, Doom 3, Homeworld 2, etc), the fast advancement of hardware and the rising cost of producing a game, it seems that it?s becoming harder and harder for the smaller and innovating game companies to leave a mark. Do you think all future games will be sold by a select few large corporations such as Microsoft, Electronic Arts or similar?
Yes the large companies will undoubtedly dominate the industry, but occasionally the industry will be shocked by an unexpected hit from a small developer.
This or That?s
Gameplay or Graphics?
Bawls or Dr. Pepper?
Keyboard/mouse or joystick/pad?
Modded case or beige case?
Headphones or 5.1 surround?
Headphones. Good ones.
Plug & Play or Plug & Pray?
Haha? poor Microsoft.
Halflife 2 or Doom 3?
HL2 by far.
Deathmatch or CTF?