Our topic for today might not be for those hardcore eSports fans who comprehensively follow each match of all popular eSports franchises. They might not appreciate our choice of word in the following paragraphs because, just like half the community, we're worried about the potential issues that could arise with doping in eSports. Yes – that's what we are going to discuss today.
It's a relatively new topic that has emerged on the scene quite recently, with all those Russian doping scandals taking over the sports world. The tensions were further increased after several professional CS: GO eSports players admitted to doping all the way back in 2015. More precisely, Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen (who played CSGO for Cloud9 at the time) reported how he was on “addy” (street name for Adderall) while playing on some big-time tournaments.
“I don't even care. We were all on Adderall, I don't even give a fuck. It was pretty obvious if you listened to the comms. People can hate it or whatever.”
When further asked about the topic, Kory announced how everyone was using. Not just everyone in his team but pretty much everyone in the competition. At that point in time, substance abuse in eSports wasn't that big of an issue. People weren't thinking too much about it so it managed to pass under the radar. However, as eSports and eSports betting industry are expanding at a rapid rate, there are lots of people who are starting to question its integrity.
The story behind Adderall as the main method of doping eSports
However, what exactly is Adderall and how did it become the weapon of choice for doping in eSports? Are the benefits so easily noticeable that it's worth risking lots of negative publicity? Also, is negative publicity the only real repercussion for taking Adderall and similar substances? All that and more can be found down below:
First of all, let's get one thing out of our way – what is Adderall? Adderall is an Amphetamine and as such, it belongs to a type of drugs better known as stimulants. It is used for treating all sorts of problems including ADHD and narcolepsy. In most countries, it is either illegal or partially legal (or prescription based in the good old US of A). Needless to say, its legal status greatly affects its availability and, considering the fact Cloud9 is a North American team, it must've been readily available for all sorts of professional eSports athletes.
Why is addy the most popular method of doping in eSports? Well, Adderall is known for increasing the user's focus and cognitive functions while at the same time eliminating fatigue. Additionally, it also brings forth a boost in reflexes which is, needless to say, of crucial importance for eSports athletes. But they are not the only ones who are using Adderall for their gain. Students are among that selection too, often taking Adderall while studying for demanding exams…
But SEMPHIS' story dates all the way back to 2015. 3 years later, the issue should've been solved by now, right? Well, while there aren't any concrete evidence of newer incidents related to doping in eSports, it is highly unlikely that not a single professional player used a shady substance till then. Why is that so? Well, for starters, eSports is developing too fast for its own good…
eSports is developing too fast…
We all know that the entire eSports industry went through a proper Cinderella story. eSports, just like eSports betting industry, went from rags to riches in a matter of a decade. With continuing exponential growth, the main issue becomes the industry's integrity. Due to such a rapid growth, there's now a short timeframe for reacting to potential issues. Plus, there are no strict regulations that are united throughout all eSports franchises. Yes, ESL is doing a good job with their initial setup of rules and regulations. They are not just regarding substance abuse but match-fixing and other integrity issues as well… but it's not a universal solution that's present with conventional sports. Needless to say, futureproofing the integrity will be of crucial importance. Even more so if eSports wants to continue its exponential growth and not suffer through integrity crisis.