The definition of ‘sport’ is widening its meaning with the advancement of technology, so ESL is as serious as the Olympics about doping when it comes to professional players. The Electronic Sports League (ESL) has installed anti-doping policies that is meant to successfully uphold the spirit of fair play and integrity of the sport.
Videogame competitions have seen an uprising within the last couple of years, drawing out numerous sponsors and millions of viewers. It implies a display of skills ranging from strategy, reflexes, attention, dexterity and, most importantly, teamwork. The eSports League is officially taking the phenomenon to a different level, putting down rules that are necessary due to the upping of prize money and viewers.
The world top professional gaming league has adopted an anti-doping policy that essentially bans players from using similar drugs that are also most definitively not allowed in the Olympics, including anabolic steroids, cannabis, cocaine, HGH and many others. They will be using randomized saliva testing to make sure the players aren’t cheating and that the competition is clean.
The need for the new policy has risen after a CounterStrike: Global Offensive professional player, Kory Friesen, known as Semphis to the gaming world, has admitted to using Adderall to enhance his performance at a tournament in March. It’s commonly used as a drug to treat those afflicted with ADHD or narcolepsy, as it helps increasing attention and focus.
It’s an unfortunate consequence of gaming becoming such a popular and awarding sport, as it’s sending the clear message that the prizes are now valuable enough that players are willing to use drugs in order to win. Not to mention benefit from the use of illegal software that would give them a digital advantage.
Thousands of gamers and millions of viewers tune in to see the competition unfold for prizes that can reach $500,000 for CounterStrike, and has had a whopping near $11 million for DOTA 2 tournaments, such as the one in February of this year. Gaming is becoming a profession and each professional player must then adhere to the proper rules.
ESL will be first instating these rules starting with their CounterStrike tournament in Cologne on August 22nd of this year. Players will be allowed to announce if they’re on any kinds of medication before the tournament, and they are not restricted to using any kinds of drugs during their spare time outside the competition.
However, during the tournament, the use of any of the banned substances will result in loss of points, prize money or even complete suspension and banning from competitive play. Gaming is entering a new era, and all those who wish to see it through will have to take it seriously.
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