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Counter-Strike has had a colorful and dramatic history, and still remains extremely popular to this day. There are currently professional online leagues for Counter-Strike, such as Cyberathlete Amateur League (CAL), and CyberEvolution, a pay-to-play league. There are various LAN tournaments throughout the United States and Europe, the biggest being the Cyberathlete Professional League(CPL), the Electronic Sports World Cup(ESWC), the World e-Sports Games(WEG) and the World Cyber Games(WCG). These events are like major sporting events, with championship matches televised with commentary and analysis.
Half-Life and other contemporary games took full advantage of the advent of hardware graphics acceleration in the late 1990s, replacing earlier software-rendered games such as Quake. Likewise, gamers were expected to abandon the DirectX 5.0 Half-Life and its mods in favor of games utilizing the hardware T&L capabilities of DirectX 7.0 graphics cards such as the Nvidia GeForce and ATI Radeon. However, the universal shift to the DirectX 7.0 level and beyond has not happened, and the continued popularity of Counter-Strike has given older video cards such as the 3dfx Voodoo 3, ATI Rage 128, and Nvidia RIVA TNT2 continued usefulness.
But as the criticisms of Condition Zero showed, many players feel that the GoldSrc engine has reached its limits in its capacity to evolve and to stay updated. Even Counter-Strike: Source has been criticized for not progressing the gameplay enough and failing to take full advantage of the Source engine.
There have been a multitude of games claimed by their developers, reviewers and fans to be "Counter-Strike killers," but none have seriously been able to dent its overall popularity. Server statistics in 2002 showed that Counter-Strike servers outnumbered their Battlefield, Unreal Tournament 2003 or Quake III first-person shooter counterparts at least 3 to 1.