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eSports Joins the Big Leagues with a Drug Problem of its Own

eSports Joins the Big Leagues with a Drug Problem of its Own:

Whether it’s with a knockout finish at an EVO fighting game championship, a crushing play in League of Legends, or a dorm-wide Super Smash Bros. tourney, eSports are taking the world by storm. Playboy’s eSports Highlights articles celebrate and chronicle their rise.


Sounds like eSports are officially real sports now: they even have their own performance-enhancing drug problem.

In a YouTube interview with Mohan “Launders” Govindasamy, pro Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen admitted he and other players on his former team, Cloud9, used Adderall while playing in an Electronic Sports League tournament in March (relevant exchange starts at 7:44). As Motherboard reports, to hear Friesen and Govindasamy talk, it sounds like use of the drug is a pretty common thing in high-level pro play.

“I don’t even care—we were all on Adderall. Like, I don’t even give a fuck, like—it was pretty obvious if you listened to the comms,” he says, chuckling.

Adderall is a drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, and has the effect of increasing concentration in users. This isn’t the first time drug use has been rumored in major eSports events, but it is out of the norm for a player to be so brazen about it.

The ESL, for its part, prohibits the use of drugs, alcohol, or other “performance enhancers,” and threatens to kick out players who violate the rule, which might be news to Friesen—either that or he really doesn’t give a fuck.

And now we play the waiting game for Congress’s hearings on doping in Counter-Strike tournaments.


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