For the first time ever in history, we will witness a competitive video-gaming organization test players for PEDs or performance enhancing drugs. According to reports, the testing will begin sometime next month. This change will make the field of eSports even more mainstream than what it is now.
Electronics Sports League (ESL) made this announcement just a few weeks after a gamer admitted that he used a stimulant called Adderall before taking part in a tournament. This confession of the gamer forced people associated with the field of video gaming to engage in discussion on a matter that has plagued the world of traditional sports a long time back.
In a statement issued on Thursday, ESL announced that from now on it will be carrying out randomized skin tests for PEDs. The first tournament to witness such an event would be the ESL One Cologne to be held in Germany next month. For those who don’t know: it’s a tournament for a first-person shooting game called “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive”. The total prize pool boasted by the tournament is $250,000.
According to information provided in the statement, ESL will join hands with the anti-doping agency of Germany and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) for developing a policy. As soon as the policy will be established, the organization will start performing similar tests at each of the major events organized by it.
ESL said that like the majority of the other organizations, it also banned gamers from using alcohol and/or drugs at events a long time back. However, no other organization introduced drug testing for cyber athletes before ESL.
ESL believes that the increasing popularity and visibility of eSports and the growing prize pools have made it more tempting for players and teams to break rules. According to the organization, gamers falling prey to such temptations is not good news for the sport.
In its statement, the organization further said that ESL is committed to protect the integrity of all its competitions and provide each and every professional player with a fair playground.
This step by ESL, according to experts, will change the online gaming scenario significantly. More so because ESL is the biggest gaming organization on this planet with over 5 million registered league participants.