After the recent drug scandals, one of the biggest eSports organizations, Electronic Sports League (ESL) has announced that they will be soon begin policing performance-enhancing drugs at its events.
These recent drug scandals are actually from the Counter Strike scene. Last week, Cloud 9 player Cory “Semphis” Friesen admitted that he and his Cloud 9 teammates used Adderall in some of the recent ESL Katowice tournament. He has since been kicked from Cloud 9 (not for these claims as they were made much afterwards) and has become very vocal about the issue. According to the gamer, a large majority of players do so.
Adderall is a drug regularly used by people afflicted with ADHD to cope with the disorder and achieve normal levels of concentration. It, along with Ritalin, has been associated with improved performance in exams due to the belief that it will increase the concentration and activity if taken by non-ADHD sufferers. Thus, it is the perfect drug for eSports such as Counter Strike.
The issue is that ESL could not ban players for the usage of this drug, even if they were open about it, because it wasn’t against the official rules. The only mention of drugs in the ESL rulebook is the following,
“To play a match, be it online or offline, under the influence of any drugs, alcohol, or other performance enhancers is strictly prohibited, and may be punished with exclusion.”
This and the fact that drugs weren’t tested and thus a confession by a player is not enough to ensure the usage of the drug, results in Semphis and other Cloud 9 players not being punished for their actions. However, ESL does promise that they have,
“…taken steps to move forward with drugs policing, education, and prevention among participants of [its] competitions.”
This will probably result in drug tests for players and more clear rulebooks though the specifics of these new policies remain to be seen.