So, recently it has come to light that some professional gaming teams have been drugging up to win tournaments. Notably Cloud9, a team that plays Counter Strike. When interviewed by Motherboard, Canadian player Kory “Semphis” Friesen admitted that during tournaments, he and his team were taking Adderall. He was quoted:
“I don’t even care. We were all on Adderall. I don’t even give a f***. It was pretty obvious if you listened to the comms. People can hate it or whatever.”
When the interviewer followed up by asking if the team was using the drug, Semphis confirmed it was true. While ESL Gaming does not perform drug tests, they have banned any and all mind-altering substances from use during game time.
I believe that players should win on their own merits and not with the aid of drugs, alcohol or other medications. I have severe ADD and borderline ADHD, and I don’t need Adderall to stay focused (although I’d probably release articles earlier if I was on it).
I’ve been a competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! player for a long time and although there is no ban on drugs, I think the Esports line-up goes to show that there should be. If you use any means necessary to get ahead, you could potentially put your life at risk…especially if you’re taking a drug not prescribed to you.
If Esports is meant to be taken as seriously as the Olympics and other sports competitions, players must be responsible for their decisions and held to similar standards.
Those who use underhanded or quasi-legal tactics are not better players, regardless of where they finish in a tournament. We have reached out to Valve, Riot Games, and Blizzard on Twitter for further comment, but have yet to hear back.
It would be interesting to see professional computer gamers go through mandatory drug testing before grabbing that controller or mouse! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.