ESL gaming tournament takes lead to end pill popping in e-sports

ESL gaming tournament takes lead to end pill popping in e-sports

Professional athletes are constantly being tested for performance-enhancing drugs. Now, professional video game organizations are starting to put gamers under the same microscope.


Last Thursday, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) announced their plan to test professional gamers for drug use. The first testing will take place in August at the ESL One Cologne “Counter Strike: Global Offensive” tournament.


From ESL’s website:

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


Gamers participate in video game competitions


ESL likely made this change after Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen admitted that his whole team, Cloud9, was using Adderral in the ESL One Katowice tournament in March. With a prize pool of $250,000, these players were willing to take drugs to maintain a competitive edge, and they aren’t the only ones.


Adderall use is increasing in popularity in the professional gaming world. Gaming caster Mohan “Launders” Govindasamy asked Friesen in an interview whether or not everyone was using Adderral.


Friesen told Govindasamy: “Yeah, … You can hear it in the comms, right? That’s what was so funny to me. Like ‘shit comms, so hectic.’ So yeah, that might clear up some of the questions of why it was like that.”




Adderall is intended to be used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but professional gamers use this amphetamine to increase their focus and eliminate fatigue. When they play game after game in a tournament, the drug can give them an advantage when playing against a weary team.


Now that ESL has taken the lead in the fight against Adderral, more gaming organizations could be expected to drug test players in the near future.


Should more professional gaming tournaments test players for drug use? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.  


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