Will eSports PED Testing Protect Players, Or Deflect Blame?

When competitive video game players gather in Germany this weekend for ESL One Cologne, the world’s largestCounter-Strike: Global Offensivetournament, they will be subjected to an E-sports first: the Electronic Sports League will conduct random testing for drugs on the World Anti-Doping Association’s (WADA) banned substances list, including marijuana, stimulants, and yes, steroids.

The association with WADA is perhaps the surest sign yet of E-sports’ ascendance from LAN party hobby to major, multimillion-dollar international industry. It also raises a question: Are E-Sports truly adopting the aggressive drug-testing regimens favored by traditional sports organizations in order to protect competition integrity and athlete health, or is it just a credibility-enhancing public relations ploy?

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