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With professional gaming on the rise and its push to become a legitimate sport, even seeing (controversial) recognition from ESPN in recent weeks, one would expect there to be changes incoming. One such change is the initiative, sparked by the ESL, to begin drug testing its participants to ensure a fair competitive landscape for all pro gamers. It may sound ridiculous at first (because it IS a little strange) but, when you find out which drug has been arguably abused and the performer’s attitudes about it, you will likely find yourself agreeing with the initiative. 


Adderall, a big-brand prescription drug derived from amphetamines, has become their go-to drug for boosting performance. Meant for sufferers of things like ADD and ADHD, it’s allegedly being used in competitive gaming to boost concentration and reaction times.

Kory Friesen, in an alarmingly arrogant statement in a recent interview, admitted to using the drug and had this to say:

“I don’t even care. We were all on Adderall. I don’t even give a fuck. It was pretty obvious if you listened to the comms. People can hate it or whatever.”

Kind of an arrogant prick thing to say and, since it has gained the attention it has for him and his teammates, I’m sure he’s taken quite the beating for running his mouth like that. Still, in order to maintain a fair competition, all players must go under the same regulation and tests.

To combat this issue, ESL has teamed with a couple prominent European anti-drug sports groups, the NADA (National Anti Doping Agentur) and the WADA (World Anti Doping Agency). The two teams will be helping to develop and enforce the drug testing program worldwide.

IEM San Jose 2014

IEM San Jose 2014

What do you think? Is it stupid that they will have to be tested for these drugs now? Will it harm the eSports community and the energy level at its events? Or do you agree that it’s all in good faith and fairness? Be a part of the conversation in the comments section, and check out the press release below for addition details:

The popularity and visibility of esports has grown exponentially in recent years, but this combined with the increasing size of prize pools has also made the temptation of rule-breaking even greater.

As the world’s largest and oldest esports organization, ESL has an ongoing commitment to safeguarding both the integrity of our competitions and that of esports as a whole – we wish to ensure we can provide a fair playing field for all participating players.

With this in mind, today we are announcing the beginning of the steps we’ll be taking as an organization in order to determine enforce guidelines and rules surrounding the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) at ESL events.

Joining forces

In order to maintain the spirit of fair play within esports, ESL has partnered with NADA (the Nationale Anti Doping Agentur, which is headquartered in Bonn, Germany) to help create an anti-PED policy that is fair, feasible and conclusive while also respecting the privacy of players. ESL will also be meeting with WADA (the World Anti Doping Agency, based in Montreal, Canada) so they can be actively involved in the making, enforcing and dissemination of this policy to additional regions such as the US, Asia and Australia.

The expertise of NADA and WADA will help ESL to produce a PED prevention program that will encompass all players participating in competitions organized, hosted or produced by ESL. This program will help ensure that all players are provided with the information and structural support they need to help them manage the physical and emotional pressure of professional gaming.

Taking action

In the meantime, we will taking immediate action to ensure that ESL’s company values of exemplary sportsmanship and integrity are maintained. As such, we will be administering the first PED skin tests at ESL One Cologne this August, with a view to performing these tests at every Intel Extreme MastersESL One and ESL ESEA Pro League event thereafter as soon as the official PED policy is established and tournament rules updated accordingly.

We will remain proactive in ensuring all professional players and organizations involved in ESL competitions will be kept informed of the initiative’s progress. Updates on changes to tournament rules including the list of banned substances, methods of testing and potential disciplinary actions for players caught using PEDs and/or admitting to having used them will be provided to players via their respective team managers and/or owners.

Category: Nerd Culture

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