The Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), a professional gaming league founded in 1997, has announced that it will be shutting down immediately. All CPL events scheduled for 2008 are canceled but the League will still pay the awards for its 2007 World Tour.

An announcement on the CPL website attributes the company's downturn on "the current fragmentation of the sport, a crowded field of competing leagues, and the current economic climate." It's the second pro gaming league in so many years to go under; the World Series of Video Games closed its doors in September of 2007. That leaves about eight pro gaming leagues in existence, which is still a pretty "crowded field" by the standards of any sport.

It's unclear if this will have any affect on Severity, a first-person shooter being developed by Escalation Studios with funding from the CPL. Severity was to be geared toward competitive play and was slated for release on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. Very little information has been released on the game so there's no telling what would actually be lost if the game was canceled. However, Doom designer John Romero was involved in the development somehow (his first FPS since The-Game-That-Must-Not-Be-Named) so I was at least a little intrigued.

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