An interesting article
on Tom's Hardware reveals that the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) is preparing to introduce drug testing at all of its gaming competitions next year. Ignoring the kneejerk observation that gaming can be a drug all on its own (we frequently test positive for Lumines
), there are two ways of looking at this development. The CPL having to test for drugs sends an unfortunate message about gamers we've known for quite a while -- some of them just like to cheat. On the other hand, such serious measures imply that professional gaming (or, sigh
, "eSports") is being treated in the same manner as "real" sports, with all the rules and repercussions that accompany them.
The founder and president of the league, Angel Munoz, is clearly concerned about dubious drug activities in league events. "The potential for [drugs] being an issue absolutely concerns me. It should concern anybody in eSports, because as the stakes get larger, as in any sport, people will look for an edge." In case you were wondering, some of the chemical concoctions under consideration are crystal methamphetamine and Ritalin, both of which could be used to enhance mental alertness and twitch reflexes.
Luckily, Munoz rules out the banning of Red Bull and the like, mostly because it would prove too difficult to regulate. He must also be astutely aware that gathering a large group of gamers (apologies -- cyber
athletes) and robbing them of caffeinated beverages is an invitation to unmitigated disaster.
]See also: LAN parties meet drug parties