The Electronic Sports League (ESL), the largest eSports events company in the world, announced that it will now randomly test professional gamers for cannabis during its competitions. While the intent to test was already announced, ESL recently disclosed that cannabis—apparently a performance-enhancing drug for gamers—is one of the banned substances. The testing will start with the upcoming One Cologne tournament at the Lanexx Arena in Germany (August 22-23), during which Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players will compete for $250,000 in prizes.
The ESL stated that “marijuana is on the list of prohibited substances for during the competition,” but the implication seems to be that the organization does not care about cannabis consumption before or after the competition dates. ESL will use saliva tests to make sure none of its gamers consumed cannabis or any other substance before manning their consoles.
The impetus for the testing actually stemmed from an Adderall incident, not cannabis. Professional gamer Kory “Semphis” Friesen admitted that his team utilized the amphetamine at a recent event. The attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug can improve a person’s focus, concentration and energy levels. Ironically, the corporate sponsor of the arena, Lanexx, is a spinoff of Bayer, the German company famous for coining and trademarking the name Heroin for its opiate-based cough medicine.