ESL announced the organization will be leading an anti performance enhancing drug initiative, including drug testing, starting at ESL One Cologne August 22-23 for Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament.
The official announcement was released by ESL on July 23, 2015 after a player from Cloud 9’s CS:GO division admitted to using Adderall during an ESL tournament.
Earlier in July, professional Counter Strike: Global Offensive player Cory “Semphis” Friesen admitted that he and other members of the Cloud 9 team had used Adderall during the $250,000 ESL tournament.
Adderall is a drug usually used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but is known to have the opposite effect on those that take the drug without the need. It can be used to increase focus and reaction time and is considered highly addictive.
As the world’s largest and oldest esports organization, ESL has an ongoing commitment to safeguarding both the integrity of our competitions and that of esports as a whole – we wish to ensure we can provide a fair playing field for all participating players. With this in mind, today we are announcing the beginning of the steps we’ll be taking as an organization in order to determine enforce guidelines and rules surrounding the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) at ESL events.
Some argue that the CS:GO ban on Adderall is exclusive to that particular division because it is a game that is primarily dependent on muscle control, reflexes, concentration and other physical and mental traits that are easily amplified and effected with various enhancing drugs.
DotaBlast reached out to ESL for additional information but have not received any comments. Although there have been no details regarding Dota 2 the initial announcement seems to be inclusive of all of their events, so ESL One New York, taking place October 3rd and 4th at the Madison Square Garden, can potentially be one of the tournaments in which players will be tested for drug use :
In the meantime, we will taking immediate action to ensure that ESL’s company values of exemplary sportsmanship and integrity are maintained. As such, we will be administering the first PED skin tests at ESL One Cologne this August, with a view to performing these tests at every Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL ESEA Pro League event thereafter as soon as the official PED policy is established and tournament rules updated accordingly.
Included in the statement is a link for ESL One with Dota 2 events featured, including ESL One New York.
ESL’s initiative is not limited to only drug testing at events, but is inclusive of “partnering with the World Anti Doping Agency in order to internationalize this policy to regions such as the US, Asia, and Australia” and is aimed at Esports as a whole.
Details regarding ESL One Cologne
The list of all the substances that are prohibited and will be tested for has been made public. The prohibited list has been put together by the World Anti-Doping Agency and is updated annually following an extensive consultation process with WADA.
Initially, it was announced that the organization would be administrating skin tests, but after some investigation and continued consultation, saliva tests will be used instead. The tests will be randomized at first, but there is a possibility of increasing the testing pool at a later time.
The tests will be performed at any time during the tournament days and will take place in a designated testing area with playersț privacy being a paramount concern and consideration.
If there will be any changes to the method or policy, the players will be notified as such with the details.
For those cases where players are prescribed particular medication that is included on the list, they will need to disclose that information to ESL as soon as possible, but no later than the first match. Proof of prescription will be required.
The consequences of testing positive without a valid reason will range from a deduction of points and/or prize money and could even include disqualification and up to a two year ban from ESL events. ESL does reiterate they will look at each case separately and will ensure player privacy.