Electronic Sports League Will Begin Drug Testing for Adderall

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 23, 2015

Attendees watch a Square Enix
Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

Scandals involving performance-enhancing drugs are forcing changes in professional sports leagues all over the world, and the Electronic Sports League may be the next organization to implement drug testing.

According to Emanuel Maiberg of Motherboard.com, the ESL is still working out details of its policy but has a plan in place.

"Head of Communications at ESL Anna Rozwandowicz told Motherboard in an email that it will outline the details of its new policy soon, but that for now it has 'taken steps to move forward with drugs policing, education, and prevention among participants of [its] competitions,'" Maiberg wrote.

In a separate article by Maiberg on July 14, top-level professional gamer Kory "Semphis" Friesen admitted to using Adderall during a $250,000 tournament:

"The ESL comms were kind of funny in my opinion," Friesen said, referring to the communication between his teammates at ESL One Katowice, the event in Poland where this match took place. Friesen then hesitates for a moment before saying: "I don't even care. We were all on Adderall. I don't even give a f--k. It was pretty obvious if you listened to the comms. People can hate it or whatever."

Adderall drug use has been a hot-button issue in gaming for a long time, with Simon Parkin of EuroGamer.net writing in April that players have admitted to using it as far back as 2011.

Rozwandowicz told Maiberg that Friesen and his team won't be punished for their alleged use of Adderall because the ESL has "no way of knowing whether Semphis, despite what he said, has actually taken Adderall or not."

While this is a positive step for ESL, Maiberg did note that other major organizations like League of Legends Championship Series have not issued a response to Friesen's admission.

Gaming has become a big business with large-money tournaments all around the world, so the temptation to use and abuse drugs that help improve focus and concentration is likely to be high for players looking to gain an edge.