ESL leads anti-PED initiative for esports with the support of NADA

Ella McConnell
Senior Editor
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The popularity and visibility of esports has grown exponentially in recent years, but this combined with the increasing size of prize pools has also made the temptation of rule-breaking even greater.

As the world’s largest and oldest esports organization, ESL has an ongoing commitment to safeguarding both the integrity of our competitions and that of esports as a whole - we wish to ensure we can provide a fair playing field for all participating players.

With this in mind, today we are announcing the beginning of the steps we’ll be taking as an organization in order to determine enforce guidelines and rules surrounding the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) at ESL events.

Joining forces

In order to maintain the spirit of fair play within esports, ESL has partnered with NADA (the Nationale Anti Doping Agentur, which is headquartered in Bonn, Germany) to help create an anti-PED policy that is fair, feasible and conclusive while also respecting the privacy of players. ESL will also be meeting with WADA (the World Anti Doping Agency, based in Montreal, Canada) so they can be actively involved in the making, enforcing and dissemination of this policy to additional regions such as the US, Asia and Australia.

The expertise of NADA and WADA will help ESL to produce a PED prevention program that will encompass all players participating in competitions organized, hosted or produced by ESL. This program will help ensure that all players are provided with the information and structural support they need to help them manage the physical and emotional pressure of professional gaming.

Taking action

In the meantime, we will taking immediate action to ensure that ESL’s company values of exemplary sportsmanship and integrity are maintained. As such, we will be administering the first PED skin tests at ESL One Cologne this August, with a view to performing these tests at every Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL ESEA Pro League event thereafter as soon as the official PED policy is established and tournament rules updated accordingly.

We will remain proactive in ensuring all professional players and organizations involved in ESL competitions will be kept informed of the initiative’s progress. Updates on changes to tournament rules including the list of banned substances, methods of testing and potential disciplinary actions for players caught using PEDs and/or admitting to having used them will be provided to players via their respective team managers and/or owners.