Sports has always had cheaters, from the abuse of steroids on MLB, boxers hiding tough objects under their gloves to espionage on the F1, it is something that is very common and teams always counts with specialist trying to find loopholes in the regulation.
Like any other competition, people are trying to find loopholes in the regulation of Esports, and a loophole was found, the competition could face a major problem if regulations are not tweaked.
The Washington Post reported the experience of several professional players who had the courage to talk about what’s been happening behind curtains, and it appears that a large amount of players is using Adderall to improve concentration, awareness.
‘Nobody talks about it because everyone is on it’
That’s the title of the coverage of The Washington Post on drug abuse in Esports, the reports tell the story of Matthew “MellowMajik” Murphy, the man admits to swallow a pill of Adderall before each streaming session, he uses the drug to extend his focus throughout his lengthy streams.
“Typically I would be exhausted, tired and lose motivation after only a couple hours,” Murphy said. “With Adderall, I am able to play better than I ever have for up to 12 hours.”
Every gamer must know that long gaming sessions can take a toll on mental health, some older players might remember the health warnings being present on user manuals. Players must have a 15 minutes break per each 45-60 minutes of playtime. Adderall is a drug based on amphetamine and dextroamphetamine and acts on the nervous system, it has a stimulant effect by adding chemicals in the brain and nerves.
Side effects and overdose are rare, some people unrelated to Esports had died from “amphetamine use disorder”, 5 grams of the drug can kill a man, that represents 100 times the maximum daily therapeutic dose. But with Esports glory, sponsorships deals, and rewards that might make a young person rich, the appeal of a magic pill that can make your team play better represents a huge danger especially considering the drug is not used under the supervision of a doctor.
The Washington Post reports that at least “one Esports league regularly tests for these as banned substances, others have left them unchecked”.
The drug’s use presents a complicated problem for leagues and tournament organizers. Shortly after Friesen publicly admitted that his Counter-Strike team used Adderall during an Electronic Sports League (ESL) sanctioned tournament, the ESL employed the help of the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) and began conducting drug tests.
The problem lies in the loophole in the regulation that allows players to use prescription drugs, it’s hard to spot when a player is legitimately prescribed Adderall, but if professional players are true and a large portion of players are exploiting the drug then it must be regulated its use differently.
“Prescription drugs may be used only by the person they are prescribed to, and in the manner, combination, and quantity as prescribed.” Says Epic Games on its drug use policy.
There are a large number of reports from players who had used the drug, for example, the aspiring professional player Jack Watson admits taking Adderall or Vyvanse when he competes in the various online Fortnite competitions.
“I notice very significant differences in my gameplay,” Watson said. “My reaction and processing time is exponentially greater than playing without [Adderall]. It feels like steroids for video games.”