The Electronic Sports League will start policing use of adderall and other performance-enchancing drugs in eSports following a recent scandal.
It should be staggeringly clear now that professional gaming is like any other sport, even to the point of paying scholarships to athletes. But like any legitimate sport, we must accept the good with the bad - which means dealing with drug scandals and testing. After a professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player admitted his entire team used Adderall during a competition, the Electronic Sports League is about to begin policing performance-enhancing drug use.
During an interview last week, Cory "Semphis" Friesen of Cloud9 stated that his entire team used Adderall while playing at ESEA events. For those not in the know, Adderall is a drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) but can be abused for anyone trying to stay focused for long periods of time. Friesen even implied that such drug use is widespread among athletes, although exact figures are unclear.
While the ESL rulebook prohibits the use of performance-enhancing drugs, players weren't previously tested for them. ESL Head of Communications Anna Rozwandowicz has stated that will change, telling Motherboard the league has "taken steps to move forward with drugs policing, education, and prevention among participants of [its] competitions". ESL will be putting forward details with a new policy in the near future.
As for Friesen and Cloud9, the ESL won't penalize them at this time. "We have no way of knowing whether Semphis, despite what he said, has actually taken Adderall or not," Rozwandowicz explained. "We can't punish someone if we are not 100 percent sure he is guilty. And as we have no way to test it anymore (we're four months after the event), we won't take action in this specific case." That said, it's pretty much a guarantee Cloud9 will be among the first tested if it participates in future events.