The Steroids of eSports: A Growing Problem?
How big of a problem has it become?
Performance enhancing drugs have traditionally been used in all types of sports. It’s no secret that the performance of athletes can be immensely enhanced by taking certain drugs. Typically, athletes will take some type of steroid or growth hormone to increase stamina and strength. With the rise of eSports we are starting to see a huge increase in e-athletes taking enhancing drugs. However, in the realm of eSports, concentration and reaction time is much more important than being able to run fast and lift more weight. The steroids of eSports is a huge problem that is finally being looked at.
In July of last year, Semphis a professional Counter Strike player claimed that “everyone” was on Adderall. This is actually very common when talking with various competitive teams. This issue has been brought up a few times but has not been taken very seriously until now. Adderall or any type of ADHD medication could very well be the steroids of eSports.
If you compete in any type of eSport more than likely you have played against someone taking some kind of enhancing drug giving them the advantage. This is serious issue because some people actually need these drugs to function as a normal person in society. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done in a normal ranked match. However, in a professional match it is much easier to regulate and control what the players are taking.
What is being done to fix the problem?
To prevent the steroids of eSports, the ESL (Electronic Sports League) and the World Anti-Doping Agency will be working together to build a new set of rules about which drugs are going to be banned during a competition and when a urine or blood test will be required. They are still running into the problem of what to do with the people that actually need the prescription drugs and will hopefully have a solution soon.
The ESL has yet to release a list of banned drugs. It is safe to say that Adderall or any stimulant used to treat ADHD will make the list, as well as any illegal drug used to increase performance. ESL is taking this issue seriously and claim that “the integrity of our sport is and always will be our biggest concern”. They hope to announce their next steps soon and may even implement random drug-test policies in the meantime. Nothing has been finalized as of yet.
Alternative to the steroids of eSports
Now that performance enhancing drugs are under heat people will look at dietary supplements as an alternative. Energy drinks and pills should be a safe bet and have been shown to be very effective if not abused. Stimulants found in dietary supplements are pretty much legal in every sport and has been shown to increase reaction time and focus. These might not be as effective as ADHD medication but at least they are legal and won’t get you disqualified.