CPL Gaming League Will Begin Drug Testing in 2007

December 9, 2006 -
Those looking to enhance their performance in the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) next year had best read the entry rules very carefully.

There will be a new clause in player contracts which allows the CPL to test participants for drugs, reports Tom's Hardware. Of the new testing program, CPL found Angel Munoz (left) said:
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 2007, we are going to have the right to drug test someone. It's going to have to be this way.

Munoz told Tom's Hardware that the tests will not be random, and not all competitors will be required to provide a sample.

Drugs said to be commonly used at some LAN gatherings include crystal meth and Ritalin. Both apparently increase stamina, reflexes and concentration, at least in the short-term. Those attributes match up quite well with the demands of the action games played on the pro circuit. When the CPL starts testing, all illegal drugs and certain prescription items will be checked.

Those who enjoy a swift Red Bull to calm their nerves before a deathmatch need not worry, though, as the league has no plans to regulate those, partially because it wouldn't be practical, and partially because Munoz is "not sure that caffeine is the right drug for gaming."

Guess it's back to the practicing for the rest of us, then...

-reporting from the U.K., GamePolitics Euro-spondent Mark Kelly
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Comments

Looking forvard for a great and interesting discussion on this topic. Keep it up!

Well isn't this perfect. Gamers using drugs to enhance their gaming performance. That's exactly what happens when you turn video games into something they aren't and I hope never become...sports.

Sad that this is necessary.

Well, considering there's prize money in these things, I think it would be fair to do some drug testing. It would be unfair to players who play the right way to be beaten only because the opponent was using something unnatural. I personally would like to see video games getting the respect that physical sports do.

"Professional" gamers make me laugh and in some sense, I hope video games never attain the respect (and I use that term loosely) "professional" sports do. We don't need the drama.

I feel foolish for not seeing this coming despite all the issues going on with trainers and athletes of all levels. What I don't understand in this is why there isn't random testing? I understand the ability to recognize meth users (in most cases), but not so much with ritalin. The only people I've ever been able to say "they take ritalin" are the ones that I have a history with and notice the difference in their personality. That's an advantage that I doubt these competition committees would have. Is there an effect of ritalin that I'm missing?

I took a look at the terms & conditions regarding drug use for the CPL, it didn't answer either of my questions (why not random and equal testing and how are the decisions made ((looks likely to be arbitrary))). However, after reading it, I wonder how prepared they will (or likely won't) be for schedule II drug abusers.

If leagues like the CPL keep growing, this could turn interesting, and not necessarily for the better (see MLB for reference).

This is a good step, I'd rather know now rather than later if Fat1ity is corking his mouse.

Or pine tarring his opponents' . . . .

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

I agree with the poster that said he hopes videogames don't turn into sports. I wonder if marijuana will be a banned substance?

I wonder if they'll test for steroids if they find out that they help you in playing Wii Sports or something. It would be sort of odd if it did, which I doubt anyways, but just thinking.

At least they're not banning caffiene though. Thats always a bonus.

I think it's ridiculous that cyberathletes would take performance enhancing drugs. This isn't a physical sport. It's a cybergame and it shouldn't be too hard to compete in that. Drugs to win video game tournements now I've heard it all.

Not steroids, things that give you better response times mentally. Better focus keep you on edge ect ect.

@Daniel:

Whether or not it's a physical contest is irrelevant. The principle of using a drug to gain an unfair advantage in competition is the issue here. And don't think it's easy to compete, pretty much all the vets in those online fragfests are freakin' GOOD.

So, how many more sports venues need to start drug testing before the US
"Pro" leagues get off their cry horses, stop whining about their bruised egos, and start testing just like everyone else?

@Daniel

"performance enhancing" is relative to the sport. Hockey players don't usually use steroids, because just being strong doesn't help. For them, drug of choice is usually something related to reflex or reaction enhancement, or something to give them an energy boost like a stimulant. I imagine drugs that improve concentration, coordination, and help you stay up for 48 hrs is probably something CPL players would be looking at.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

@ Jabrwock

I have never been to a game tournament, but does it really take 48 hours? That's ridiculous to have a contest for 48 hours straight. Why does it have to last that long? Most sporting events take 3 hours.

I don't think is actually in response to drug use.
The CPL has been out of the news for a while now, well positive news anyway, and this is likely more of a political statement. A "see we support keeping kids from using [enter current trendy drug to hate here]" kind of thing.

As for taking drugs at a LAN center, I've competed, and I have friends who are admittedly way.... way.... better than me who compete for money and I've never heard of the use of "concentration enhancers" before. While I could almost see Ritalin being tried, I doubt anyone would make a habit of it. And Myth?! Oh please, if you need to play a game requiring concentration, swift reaction, and clarity of strategic movement, you're not going to bust out the Myth card, that's just stupid.

As the cash pots for these tourneys keep growing, the desire to take performance enhancing drugs will too. This really wasn't an issue back in the day when a 1000 dollar pot was big news and people were shocked at the idea of playing video games for money. Now we have tournaments with 100,000 dollar cash pots and more, endorsement deals are breaking out (Fatal1ty), and even corporate sponsorships are common. Pro gaming is turning into a professional sport, its just still very young.

As for the people saying that its not hard to play a video game, if you were to put the top cyber athletes in a test with regular people you'll most likely find that the reaction time, coordination, and logistic reasoning to be faster and more precise than a normal person. It may not be 100% physical but these players are well beyond the norm when it comes to abilities. They utilize strategies and with games like CS they utilize combat scenarios that would put many military tacticians to shame.

If you want a good example of what I'm talking about watch your friend play CS sometime and then watch footage of tournaments with cyber athletes, you'll see a huge difference.

[...] In a turn of the ridiculous, the Cyberathletes Professional League will begin testing for performance enhancing chemicals during “sporting” events.  The site Game Politics has the report.  Isn’t the term “sporting” being taken a little far when you can be an “athlete” by sitting in your Laz-E-Boy chair? [...]

the only thing I dont laugh at with the word PRO in it is golfers.....theres a sport with skill and luck the others are mindless money whores....

BTW what if someone is on rittalin to deal wit there ADHD or whatever?
idiots....

@Jabrwock

As a competitor myself, let me clarify.

Competitions tend to take up to 3 days, and sometimes as long as a week. However, obviously they are played out with a schedule in which there's obviously various times for players and teams to eat, sleep, and do whatever they need to do to make sure their bodies and minds remain healthy for the competition. Otherwise only the first 8 hours of the competition would be actually based on skill, then the rest of it would be pure endurance to see who's still awake enough to frag.

Also, in confidence, I do know a few gamers (whose names I'll never tell) who attempted to use Meth as an indirect enhancement, during the off-season, in order to stay awake and get in an extra few hours of practice and training. It proved to be a moot point, however, as none of them have broken the mediocre level of online competition and poor results on LAN.

As for the thread itself, there's all kinds of things that could be considered "enhancers" for gamers given the circumstances. One example being beta blockers being used for stress reduction and such. Anyway, I've said enough.
 
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