Yes, you read that right. It’s not just professional sport leagues that are testing for performance enhancing drugs. It’s not exactly something you may think could play a part in gaming. Performance enhancing drugs are usually associated with physical strength and energy, but alertness and mental energy can also be enhanced. Even chess players get tested for doping.
The biggest professional video game league, the Electronic Sports League, will be introducing anti-doping tests at the ESL One Cologne event next month.
Here is an official statement from the ESL:
“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.
We will be administering the first PED [performance-enhancing drug] skin tests at ESL One Cologne this August, with a view to performing these tests at every Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL ESEA Pro League event thereafter as soon as the official PED policy is established and tournament rules updated accordingly.”
This move comes while there’s an ongoing drug scandal in eSports, with pro teams admitting to using Adderall, an ADHD treatment drug that’s known to boost concentration. It’s often used by college students as a study aid.