Whether or not mainstream media takes competitive videogame playing seriously, the world of e-sports is about to get more legitimate. Following the revelation that members of Cloud9, a high-ranked Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, was using the drug Adderall to enhance their reflexes during tournaments, the Electronic Sports League will begin testing their players for drugs. That’s right, videogamers. Performance-enhancing drug scandals in electronic gaming are here. We’re one step closer to getting our own HBO documentary about the rise and fall of a cyber-athlete hero.
As recently as April, Michal Blicharz, managing director of the ESL denied that drug abuse in his company’s tournaments was widespread enough to warrant action despite all evidence to the contrary. Although almost all official gaming organizations ban drugs and alcohol during their competitions, the ESL will be the first to take the issue seriously enough to screen players before matches.