For the players, and for many spectators, it was a tense final. Two powerful athletes fought it out head-to-head, with onlookers around the world glued to their screens in silent anticipation. But this was no regular sports tournament's climax; it was the final of the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), the culmination of a year's worth of qualifiers worldwide, and the game everyone was watching was Painkiller.
After losing early on in the last round of qualifiers, Johnathan
"Fatal1ty" Wendel made a comeback and faced off against
Sander "fnatic.Vo0" Kaasjager for the final. Having won 5 out of the 9 worldwide CPL events, Vo0
was seeded first and many expected him to come out victorious—however, Fatal1ty pulled out all the stops and beat Vo0
in four straight games for a fantastic win, pocketing the $150,000 top prize. The final was
broadcast via MTV—and may be replayable—adding to the
sports-like atmosphere, with gamers on IRC and voice channels worldwide screaming in unison at a suicide or a sneaky
Gaming as a viable spectator sport? Whatever next.
[Ed: Unfamiliar with British phrasing? "Whatever next" is a simple abbreviation of the
more unwieldy "Whatever will those crazy cool cats think of next?" — watch this space for more in the "British English