ATI Backs Pro Gaming

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Sports & Video Games

AtiATI Technologies has become a worldwide title sponsor of the Cyberathlete Professional League. The technology maker, which specializes in 3D graphics cards for laptops and PCs, will provide the title sponsorship role for all of CPL's global gaming events this year. The company will be a primary sponsor for the CPL Winter 2006 Championship in Dallas this December 13-17. The company will use these venues to showcase new gaming products. ATI joins sponsors AMD and Pizza Hut.

This looks to be a breakout year for pro gaming in the U.S. The CPL was the first U.S. pro gaming league to launch back in 1997. The league is working with Coehision Productions to create a documentary on the league. Last fall, the CPL partnered with MTV to create packages for its Intel World Tour and 2005 Championships.

DirecTV has entered the videogame space and will launch a televised pro gaming season called the Championship Gaming Series early next year. Sister company IGN.com will cover the space 24/7 through online video and editorial. This year the satellite company will host three tune-up tournaments to get things in order. Microsoft, Best Buy and Mountain Dew are all actively involved in the creation and promotion of this new league.

Major League Gaming purchased seven hours of air time on USA Network to cover its season this year. AOL has teamed up with the Global Gaming League to cover the pro gaming space and sponsor gaming tournaments. Both video and editorial coverage will be brought to the table. World Cyber Games will announce a major TV partner this year. That company teamed up with HDNet last year, but is looking for a bigger network for this year's tournament.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Other countries like Korea, Sweden and Germany are way ahead of the U.S. when it comes to pro gaming. TV exposure should catapult this "e-sport" to a new level of acceptance. Any naysayers out there who don't believe videogames on TV won't work (and I'm not talking about G4's debacle) need only to check your local TV guide. In addition to non-stop poker coverage, A&E is airing a one-hour "Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship" show. If people will watch something like that...

“We are very excited that ATI has joined us as a lead sponsor,” said Angel Munoz, Founder and President of the CPL. “ATI’s support will assist us in expanding our league’s presence at a global scale, and we’re thrilled that they have selected us to showcase their newest cutting-edge graphics technologies.”

The CPL is a major force in the transformation of computer games competitions into a professional sport. The CPL's Winter 2006 Championships will be the premier computer gaming competition in North America and is a favorite of professional gamers worldwide.

"Becoming title sponsor of the CPL demonstrates our strong support of professional computer games and the world-class players set to compete in the CPL tournaments,” said Matt Skynner, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, ATI Technologies Inc. “ATI provides unparalleled 3D graphics performance in the most powerful computer gaming systems, and we look forward to helping take the CPL Winter 2006 Championships to the next level.”

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