Electronic Sports League reveals new drug policy

Last month, the eSports organization Electronic Sports League revealed that it would be instituting a drug policy following revelations of drug use from a professional gamer. The nature of the drug policy wasn't revealed at the time, excepting that it would ban gamers from using drugs that give them a competitive edge in pro gaming competitions. The league revealed the new drug policy today in a post on Reddit, saying that it will be following the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) list of prohibited substances [PDF].

The Electronic Sports League will be testing for the prohibited substances on WADA's list — and, as such, pro gamers can't have any of those substances in their test results if they want to play. Concerns about the invasiveness of drug tests have been voiced, and ESL says it took that into consideration when deciding what kind of tests to use, as well as things like accuracy and speed of testing.

The best choice ended up being saliva tests, which ESL says it will performing "at our discretion at any time during tournament." That random testing helps eliminate the possibility of gamers popping a Ritalin tablet after passing the drug test.

Those who legally take ADHD meds and similar substances for medical purposes will have to disclose that before the event. As for marijuana use, ESL says it will only be banned during competitions; it doesn't care about use that takes place before and after a competition starts/completes.

Said ESL:

Our main goal is and always will be to maintain the fair play spirit and the integrity of our competitions, and we're confident that the anti-doping policy is an important improvement that will help us advance as a sport. It is a small, but in our eyes essential and meaningful step forward for professional gamers across all games, ESL as an event organizer, and the esports industry as a whole.

VIA: Polygon