With the recent announcement that Pizza Hut will be sponsoring the Cyberathlete Professional League, the road to legitimacy for the struggling sport of professional gaming seems to be paved with irony.
From the official press release at the CPL website:
The Pizza Hut sponsorship further validates what we’ve been doing for the last nine years, to make this a professional worldwide sport. We are excited to be the first organization to cater to the gaming community with pizza delivery options.
I had no idea that becoming the first anything with pizza delivery options was a worthwhile goal, but then I’m not in the business of founding professional sports leagues, so what would I know?
The consolation prize in all of this is that as bad as it may look to have a “professional” gaming league sponsored by the grease kings of America, some of the original sponsors of other sports were much, much worse. NASCAR, I’m looking at you. If that sport was able to overcome the stereotypes of its competitors as tobacco-chewing, Winston-smoking, Budweiser-drinking, bootlegging, Deep South hicks, then perhaps there may be hope for gamers after all. Or not.