Behind The Scenes Doping Control At CS:GO Event Reveals Surprising Truth About Doping in Esports - Dexerto

Behind The Scenes Doping Control At CS:GO Event Reveals Surprising Truth About Doping in Esports

Published: 9/Aug/2018 14:27

by Calum Patterson


Anti-doping agency ESIC has provided an exclusive behind the scenes look into how doping control operates at the major ESL One Cologne CS:GO event, and how it is needed across other esport titles.

ESIC (Esports Integrity Coalition) works with ESL and IEM events, and has tested over 260 players, mainly in the top tier of Counter-Strike, but some other esports less so.

The video shows the process and also details how expensive yet necessary it is to roll this out across the highest level of esports to act as a deterrent.

The Integrity Commissioner, Ian Smith, guides you through the video, and makes some surprising revelations about the level and nature of doping in esports.

Despite increased scrutiny on the issue, Ian actually affirms that through their work they’ve determined that the problem is perhaps less prevalent than some believe, saying it is ‘largely doping free’.

“Throughout that entire process, not only have we had a single positive [result], but also we’ve surveyed about 400 players. The results of those surveys are that they raise absolutely no concern about doping in the top levels of professional esport.

On top of that, I also receive all of the therapeutic use exemption applications from teams on behalf of players that have been prescribed medications that are own our banned list. This includes Adderall and Ritalin and ADHD type drugs. The number of applications I receive is way below the national prescription rate in North America, for example.

Which surprised me, but it should reassure people that firstly there aren’t many guys out there taking adderall or ritalin for medical reasons, never mind for cheating. So I’m reasonably confident in saying top tier esports is largely doping free. I can’t be certain of course, but I’m pretty sure.”

However, Smith goes on to say that at the lower levels of esports, at the semi-pro or amateur levels, it could be more prevalent. However it is neither practical or cost-sensible to test at these levels.

Smith also wants to see other major tournament organizers and game developers with esports titles become more involved. He says currently ESL are the only ones, and are footing the (expensive) bill themselves.

“ESL are the only esports tournament operator in the entire esports eco-system running drug testing to enforce their anti-doping policy. They’re effectively doing it on behalf of every other esports org for the whole industry. 

Now that’s not fair. This is a really expensive process, they’re spending in excess of $40,000 a year on drug testing. Nobody else, and I’m including the major leagues, Overwatch, Riot, anything within the LCS, nobody else, is doing drug testing.

It’s about time that people wake up to the fact that whilst there may be no evidence of drug taking in tier 1 esports, you need a policy and a testing program to act as a deterrent.”

Smith is not entirely accurate on this point, as the recent FIFA eWorld Cup tournament did enforce FIFA’s standard drug policy and did tests on all the players competing the $400,000 tournament.

Regardless, there does remain increased scrutiny on adderrall usage particularly even at the highest level of esports, something which goes against the majority of organizer’s drug policies.


Team Heretics separates esports and content with rebrand

Published: 22/Oct/2020 19:03 Updated: 22/Oct/2020 17:09

by Adam Fitch


Popular Spanish organization Team Heretics have unveiled a new logo and a clear division between their esports and content efforts.

Hoping to transcend the “niche of competition,” Team Heretics places importance on other aspects of gaming like content creation. This is demonstrated by their 1.4m subscribers on YouTube and large roster of creators.

The new logo retains some elements of the old version, ensuring some familiarity. It takes the hooded figure from the original design and incorporates it into a shield, honoring the past of the organization while welcoming a new era.

Interestingly, the new logo bears a resemblance to that of the Los Angeles Guerillas — one of the 12 franchises in the Call of Duty League.

Team Heretics 2021 Jersey
Team Heretics
Team Heretics have a new jersey for the 2021 season.

The decision to split the two departments is uncommon in esports. The standard procedure, like what Team Heretics has done until now, is housing both their competitive endeavors and their entertainers under one identity.

Team Heretics had been successful in using that approach up to this point. The popular Spanish org counts adidas, KFC and G FUEL as partners, among many others. They have almost 800,000 followers on Twitter alone, too, with a hugely dedicated fanbase, particularly in their home country.

Team Heretics Old Logo
Team Heretics
Team Heretics leave their old, well-known logo behind.

Team Heretics houses competitors in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, and Rainbow Six Siege, as well as having content creators housed in mansions.

On October 21, the organization released a video showing off their new content creation mansion in Argentina and achieved over 500,000 views in just 24 hours.

There’s always a risk when changing your company’s identity, especially when you have spent years building brand recognition with fans. The jury is out on whether Team Heretics’ passionate legion of fans will accept the new look and approach to esports and entertainment.