Why Drug Testing Should Be Standard in Esports
When you think of sports, there are a few key elements that immediately come to mind no matter the game. Key elements include strong athletes, highlight and career-defining plays and silly banter from commentators casting the event for the public.
But what’s often overlooked by those who don’t follow too carefully is the systematic use of drug testing in sports, especially following large matches.
A soccer player after a crazy run to the goal, a baseball hitter getting a home run or a swimmer beating a world record can trigger a targeted drug test by officials or a sports governing body to make sure there was no foul play involved.
It is standard for most players in a competitive environment to take a drug test at least once or twice a year, sometimes more if a player is performing well above their usual level.
Why Esports Should Drug Test More
While drug testing has become standard in the sports field of sports, esports has long alluded to doing so.
Accusations and rumors of drug use have been bubbling amongst the community for years now, especially regarding Adderall. Esports pros have been accused of utilizing the ADHD/ADD medication to give them higher focus and a competitive edge over their opponents.
From OWL to CoD, every esports scene has seen some accusation or rumor of use of the drug. Former pros have even spoken out, claiming to have seen it used by others.
Despite these rumors, testing has been few and far between. ESL is one of the few, if not the only, TO to do drug testing. SK Gaming (now MIBR), Friberg and Astralis players godlike reactions and skills are bound to draw accusations of performance-enhancing drug use.
Isaac’s Take: Risk Isn’t Worth it
With the amount of money flowing into the industry, ever-growing demand and expectations for teams to perform at an ever-rising level of play, it wouldn’t be surprising to see many pros turn to Adderall and other enhancement drugs to keep them at the top.
As someone who had it for most of their childhood, I can speak with authority on its use and say that, while it does improve your focus and give you a bit of a twitch reaction, the downsides are not worth the risk.
Adderall is an amphetamine that can easily make you an addict if you aren’t careful. It also significantly suppresses your appetite, messes with organs and can leave you twitching. It can also give you a severely elevated heart rate with a significant risk of a heart attack.
A performance boost isn’t worth death. If you aren’t prescribed it and have a dosage not designed for your body, it can be easy to overdose on the drug.
If you want a boost before a game, drink black tea or something because unprescribed drug abuse is not the way to go about it.
Post-game drug testing should become a standard in the esports industry. Teams and TOs should be working to ensure players aren’t using illegal substances to boost their performance.
To raise awareness about the need for drug testing, our very own Jake Lucky has volunteered to administer a test, so keep an eye on our channel for that sometime in the future.