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This is the first CPL event since Frag3, which saw Hakeem take first place and the $10,000. Now we see him defending his title against the world's elite Quake 3 players.

The RazerCPL holds another challenge for players. The huge prize money involved means that there is that much more pressure on players to perform. Hakeem has already shown us he can play to a high standard even under the pressure of $10,000. The question is, can a player of Fatality's caliber (the hot favourite) hold up under the pressure with $40,000 on the line? It won't be long until we find out.

From the UK side of things, we have two main contenders. Timber who performed well at the XSReality Invitational (XSi) and took 3rd place overall, and Bl0key who won the recent CPL Qualifiers at The Playing Fields in London. Bl0key also won the Quake 3 event at Eurolan and looks to be on top of his form. The Europeans had a below par showing (for them) at the XSi, where only one European reached the Quarter Final stages. However a lot has changed since then and players like Lakerman, who was regarded as one of the best at QuakeWorld has improved in skill and experience and can pose a dangerous threat to the established players (if there is such a thing in such a new game).

I had a chat with some of the Quake 3 players on the UK circuit to see what their thoughts were on the possible UK contenders.
Do you feel Bl0key has a good chance of mixing it with the Hakeem's and Fatality's in the coming few days?
SAS: Yes. From talking to him and from what people say about him, he has a chance. He's my top tip :).

[UNR]Kalliath: Yer he does and Bl0key only lost by one frag to Lakerman this weekend at LAN Arena 4. Bl0key 0wns.
How about Timber?
DC.Maverick: I think Timmy will get a top 6 placing and if he's on his game he could take top, but I think Blokey will do well to place in the top 16 due mainly to lack of experience. Fatality is my bet.

4K^Silent: I don't think either of them have much of a chance of winning the 40k, but I believe they are both capable to place in the top 10 if they play well on the day and have a bit of luck.

[UNR]Tasan: I think we will have a strong showing, personally I hope blokey will do as well as I know he can, the UK scene is marred by lack of fast connections, but we are still up there with the best of them imo.

DC.Acquiesce: I think Timber will win. Bl0key is good but he's not strong enough to win it, whereas I think Timber is, especially after his impressive performance at XSi.
From those opinions you can see that there is varied response, most feel that they can put in a good showing, however like I said before, are they are hard as they look? An interesting point was brought up by Acq, when he mentioned Timber's performance at the XSi, Timber indeed performed well (3rd place), but Timber himself thought he could do better. Could this be the event in which he pushes himself to excel? We will have to wait and find out.