Wherever there are people striving to be the best, you’re going to have people willing to do anything it takes to win. When there are hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, you’d be crazy not to use every advantage you have to try and get that money. That’s why baseball has had a drug problem since the very beginning of the sport, and why professional bicycle racing is a joke where everyone cheats constantly. Okay, so athletes use drugs to try and get a boost, recover better, and so on, but you’d think video game players–not known for their physical perfection–would be different. You’d be wrong. The Electronic Sports League, a professional gaming league, is going to begin testing players for performance-enhancing drugs.
How does the ESL know they have a drug problem? Well, one of their professional players admitted it in an interview with Vice’s Motherboard. Kory ‘SEMPHIS’ Friesen, a professional Counter-Strike player formerly with team Cloud9, participated at the ESL One Katowice event in Poland. At the time, he says, he and his entire team were high on Adderall to improve focus and concentration.
“The ESL comms were kind of funny in my opinion,” said Friesen during an interview with video game journalist Mohan “Launders” Govindasamy. “I don’t even care. We were all on Adderall. I don’t even give a f-ck. It was pretty obvious if you listened to the comms. People can hate it or whatever.”
Using drugs is against the rules, but without a way to enforce it, there’s no reason to even bother with having an anti-drug policy. Now the ESL is going to change that, working on a testing and enforcement policy as we speak. Can’t say I blame him; if all that stood between me and $250,000 was a need for Ritalin, I’d be popping pills, too.
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