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Believe it or not the electronic sports leagues are starting to crack down on performance enhancing drugs. Despite competitive gaming being about finger control and hand-eye coordination, there are some players who are looking to take advantages whenever and wherever possible. It's an industry all its own that's worth more than half a billion dollars and careers are made and broken through it. So with that said, the ESL is hammering down on some drugs during tournament play and easing up on others.
According to Gamespot, the Electronic Sports League has made it known that certain drugs will be “strictly prohibited” from being used during tournament play. One of those drugs that's prohibited is marijuana. However, according to the ESL it is possible to smoke marijuana before the tournament starts or after the tournament ends, just not during tournament play...
Using it during the tournament--from the start of the first day until the end of the last day of competition--is strictly prohibited
This crackdown on drugs comes shortly after an interview where professional competitors admitted that they partook in using Adderall during tournament games. This scandal called for the ESL to at least investigate and lay down some rules on what sort of drugs are allowed and not allowed for players to consume before, during or after professional matches.
According to the ESL...
While choosing the kind of test we want to use, we had to consider a couple of important factors, […] How invasive the method of testing is, and how reliable will the results be, and how quickly will we get them? Tests will be performed at our discretion at any time during tournament days, and will take place in a designated testing area. Naturally, player's privacy comes first.
They've opted not to use skin tests for the reasons listed above; they wanted to avoid being too “invasive”. They instead have chosen to go with quick and efficient saliva tests. This will be conducted randomly throughout the tournament though not directly during play sessions.
The idea is that they want to keep the competitive play as fair and as even as possible. What's interesting is that the ESL has been conducting research and receiving a lot of feedback from Germany's Nationale Anti-Doping Agentur and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Of course, there's the issue of what happens if a gamer has a prescription drug in their system that is on the list of prohibited drugs? What then?
Well, ESL has a solution. According to them it's possible to show the prescription for the drug and proof that it's required for them to take, legally. The ESL stated...
In this case, they have to disclose this to us as soon as possible, but no later than the first match is scheduled to start, […] They will be required to provide proof (a letter from a physician, for example) that they need this specific medication.
That makes sense. At least it's not all or nothing.
The eSports arena has grown considerably over the years and it has had its fair share of controversies, scandals and cheaters. Throwing drugs into the mix is no big surprise.
At least for heavy pot smokers you'll be allowed to smoke before the tournament begins to knock the edge off.