The CPL drops Quake 3, but do we owe the CPL anything?
by Pappy-R and The Crew
One of the hottest topics around the community is the CPL announcing that the CPL World Championship Event scheduled for December 6-9, 2001 would be changed to have the official tournament game be Counter-Strike. This rocked a ton of players to their roots and the screams were heard all over. Quake III hadn't just been shoved but booted out of the way. In answer to the waves being felt, CPL top dog Angel Munoz gave this interview with eSports. Our rant this week is based on this issue, and the resulting statements, so if you haven't read the pieces you should get up to speed. Now for our rant, it's "The CPL's Treatment of Quake 3 Arena" by Phoenix.
Ok, someone PLEASE explain this to me. Q3A got booted in favor of CounterStrike? Now I'm no professional gamer, I play for fun, and I'm not going to go into a "CS rant" here either. That is not my intention. I know a lot of people play CS and like it. I used to play CS myself, I liked it for a while, got bored with it, and moved on to other things that I like. Cs taking Q3A's place isn't what I'm ranting about here. Granted, I don't like the fact that CS took over the grand prize spot (and HOW does a team-based game take top spot in a tournament anyway??), but my problem is WTF is the CPL doing booting Q3A COMPLETELY. And this new sponser stuff? Sounds awfully suspicious to me... I think I smell dollars at work, and that's just plain wrong. I don't buy Munoz's line about the new sponsor having nothing to do with it. Last I checked it's my right to believe/disbelieve what people say, especially when they're being grilled in an interview about an already touchy issue.
It also INFURIATES me to no end that Munoz says the Quake community owes the CPL anything. I personally don't owe the CPL anything. I never HEARD of it until now. Did it's existence or lack-thereof influence me in any way whatsoever to start playing Quake2 online? Did it make me go out and buy a copy of Unreal Tournament, or get into mod work for Q3A? No. Not one bit. I used to not even like Q3A until I started modding for it, and really got into playing the game. I changed my mind, it really IS a great game, and should at LEAST have it's own division in the tournament. Shutting out the entiry Quake community is a SURE way to tick a lot of people off. It's those same people who write checks for games, folks, and the last I checked the Quake community was still a very large community. THAT is my rant, I think it's downright arrogant to say the Quake community owes anyone anything, especially the CPL. Did Munoz forget that CS is a MOD, not a game in it's own right?. No disrespect to the mod authors, they've worked their behinds off making it, but still it represents a rather disturbing lack of respect on Munoz's part. After all, if Id had decided not to license the Q2 source to Valve there would BE no Halflife for CounterStrike to even run on! Also, there would BE no CPL because all gaming competitions STARTED with Quake and the Quake community. I'm a big Wing Commander fan, but when's the last time you've seen a tournament based on any of that series? How many other games are out there that while are popular, don't end up in tournaments too? Do you see the CPL running those? Branching out to "other games" my tail feathers! No, ALL gaming competitions started with first person shooters because of their competitive nature, and that my friends all started with Id Software. It is the gaming equivalent of heresy and sacrilege to shut out Q3A completely. Bless thee, holy hand grenade, and blow some fraggin' SENSE back into the CPL!
The only thing the Quake community owes anyone is Id software, and we've done paid that in full - the price of buying a legal copy of Quake, Quake2, or Quake 3 Arena. I think that's a fairly small price to pay for not one but 3 Quake games that will last a lifetime, and have infinite modification potential. Not to mention Doom, Doom2, Wolfenstein, Commander Keen, and all the spin offs of those games (Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force, Heretic, Heretic II, Hexen, Hexen II, etc...) Let's face it, without Id we would have no Quake, and no Quake community, and we don't owe ANYONE anything. Let's put things in perspective here.
Oh man I so wanna jump on this one, but as usual, I'm last in line. First to get in their thoughts this weeks was Will (applause), so that's who gets first shot at the pie.
I think Phoenix makes a couple of excellent points here. The first being Munoz's comment regarding the fact that the Quake community owes the CPL. Flat wrong. He gets the big STFU this week for that one. I would have expected a little more professionalism and maturity from the president of a major gaming league. Not some childish "I know you are but what am I?" comment. I think what's gone on here is tough for the CPL. They put themselves into a bad place. They have made a decision to sell out to a major sponsor at the expense of dropping Quake. The Quake community reacted angrily, probably more so than the CPL expected. Now they are left defending a decision that they might not have been comfortable to begin with, coming across abrupt and defensive. OK, grab onto a close friend, this might be hard to take. To my knowledge, id has no plans for a new version of Quake. At some point, Quake will fade - not go away - just fade. The competitive baseline will roll over to the next game. Counterstrike? Possibly. It's up to the community to keep Quake alive now. So from the CPL's perspective, this was an inevitable decision. The problem is that they may have jumped the gun here, dropping Quake way too early.
There's really only one way to resolve this issue. The CPL messed up, stabbing the Quake community in the back hurts our feeling. We're sensitive. We hold our game close to our souls. But it's a game. I always play it for fun. Competition is fun to a point, but not to the point of nasty politics. Players who want to compete will find a way with or without the CPL. The community will come through with some way to grant the title to the golden fragger. But myself, I'll continue to play Quake for fun because that's what is to me. And the CPL? Well, they can take CS and shove, uh, nevermind.
Thanks for that heart felt diatribe there bud. This could get bad because Will is one of the nicer ones in here. Time to get some from the soft and fluffy (ahem) female gamer point of view with Hellchick's take on the issue.
I was pretty shocked and outraged myself when I saw that they were dropping Q3A in favor of Counterstrike only. To me, Counterstrike is not competitive; Q3A is.
It's a fact in this world: money talks. Sponsors will always have a say in what happens in whatever they're sponsoring. I think that denying this isn't really necessary -- it's the way business works, and while the CPL is not-for-profit, there's still money involved and advertizing to be had.
As for the community owing the CPL anything, if that's what Angel Munoz believes, it's really not a fair assessment of the community and the CPL's place in it. If anything, the CPL owes its existence to the community, the ones who've played the game and formed clans and created the competitive spirit that the CPL has harvested into a professional competition. The CPL got its start in the Quake community; to say that the community owes something to the CPL is biting the hand that fed it.
More biting of the lip here for me, so I'll just paste the much less feminine Ash in right about...
Next up, more PQ opinions, including Pappy himself...