eSports organisation ESL is preparing to implement rules against the consumption of performance enhancing drugs (PED). This comes after an admission from a former Cloud9 player that the team had taken Adderall during a tournament to improve their concentration and performance.
The aftermath of Kory “SEMPHUS” Friesen’s confession has spurred eSports organisations to issue statements about the state of doping and PEDs in the fledgling sport. ESL is current at the centre of attention simply because the incident happened during one of its events – the ESL One Katowice – earlier this year. ESL head of communications Anna Rozwandowicz told Eurogamer that the company was aware that it would have to face the problem of doping at some point as the stakes of each tournament increases.
Introducing drug testing to eSports will take time, as ESL explains, because there is no system in place yet. There is more to it than just testing for drugs. An official policy on the matter would need to be introduced, along with an appeals process. This would eventually have to result in a governing body for drug testing in eSports having to be set up.
Fellow eSports body Major League Gaming also commented on the matter, and said that it defers to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) standards. However, MLG admitted that it has never tested any player for drugs.
eSports is pushing hard to be internationally recognised as a legitimate sport, and this is perhaps the motivation that it needs to implement tougher rules against doping and PEDs. Every competitive sport already bans the use of any sort of drug, irrelevant of whether it provides a competitive advantage; eSports will have to follow suit to achieve its goals.