The growing visibility and popularity of esports, as well as increasing prize pools make it not only more tempting for teams and players to break the rules, but also more damaging to our sport as a whole when they do. ESL has an ongoing commitment to safeguarding the integrity of our competitions and providing a fair playground for professional players. With this in mind, today we’re announcing further steps our organization is taking, to determine and enforce guidelines and rules surrounding the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) at ESL events.
In order to maintain the fair play spirit of our sport, ESL has partnered with NADA (Nationale Anti Doping Agentur, located in Bonn, Germany) to help research and determine an anti-PEDs policy that is fair, feasible and respects the privacy of the players, whilst simultaneously providing conclusive testing results. Additionally, ESL will meet with WADA (World Anti Doping Agency, with headquarters located in Montreal, Canada) to actively involve them in the making, enforcing and further internationalizing of this policy to regions like the US, Asia and Australia.
ESL will use the expertise of NADA and WADA to create a PEDs prevention program, which will be distributed to all players participating in esports competitions organized, hosted or produced by ESL. The goal of this program is to ensure players are provided with information and structural support to help them manage the physical and emotional pressure that the highest level of competitive gaming puts on many of them.
In the meantime, we also wish to take immediate action to ensure the company values of exemplary sportsmanship and integrity are guarded. With that in mind, we are going to administer first randomized PEDs skin tests at the ESL One Cologne event this August. Our aim is to perform those tests at every event in the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL ESEA Pro League competitions.
ESL will remain proactive in ensuring all professional players and organisations involved in our competitions will be informed about the current status of this initiative. Players participating in individual competitions under the ESL brand will be reached through their respective team managers and/or owners with updates on changes in the tournament rules. This will include the list of banned substances, the methods of testing, and the disciplinary actions for players caught using PEDs and/or admitting to having used them.