The WADA has a list of prohibited substances, which will now apply to esports. These include cannabis and narcotics like oxycodone, as well as a variety of stimulants. Gene doping and blood manipulation are also banned.
Interestingly, while marijuana use is banned during tournaments, it’s on the okay list for players outside of competition.
“Our main goal is and always will be to maintain the fair-play spirit and the integrity of our competitions,” said an ESL representative on Reddit. She said that the ESL also values players’ privacy. Going forward, esports competitors will undergo saliva tests at the ESL’s discretion during tournaments. For the foreseeable future, the drug tests will be random. If the ESL decides to make them mandatory, players will be notified.
If players are found to have violated of the rules, they could lose prize money or have tournament points deducted. More serious offenses could result in bans, but the ESL is handling it on a case-by-case basis.
If players are on doctor-prescribed drugs, they are required to notify the ESL before they play, and they must provide proof of the prescription from a doctor.
Last month we announced that the ESL would begin implementing drug-testing policies, after Counter-Strike player Kory Friesen admitted that he had been using Aderall during a competition. Using performance-enhancing drugs was already against the ESL’s rules, but drug-testing had never been part of official competitions. After the interview, Friesen was dropped from his team—he has since been picked up by another team.
Major League Gaming, another gaming league, also bans the use of drugs in competitions. Bruce Dugan, a spokesman for Major League Gaming, told the New York Times that the MLG will consider drug-testing for its 2016 season.