The Electronic Sporting League has announced it will bring changes to its rules and policies after a competitor claimed that he competed under the influence of drugs in an esports tournament.

Professional gamer Kory Friesen admitted last week that he competed while on Adderall, an amphetamine that can enhance reaction time and cognition. Adderall is a prescription medication (Adderall is a Schedule II drug under the United Nation’s Convention on Psychotropic Substances) in the United States and a Class B drug under UK law. This amphetamine, also known as “Addy”, is medically prescribed for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.

The professional Counter Strike: Global Offensive player, who played in tournaments with the Cloud9 team under the tag SEMPHIS, said his entire team made use of the psychostimulant during a major Electronic Sports League competition. The professional gamer had been competing at the ESL One Katowice event in March that had a prize pool of $250,000 (£160,000).

Electronic Sporting League, the organizing body of the ESL One Katowice tournament, reacted strongly to the statement by Friesen. Anna Rozwandowicz, head of communications at ESL, remarked the integrity of our sport is and always will be our biggest concern. Anna added we focused immediately on kick starting a policy-making process and adjusting the rules after hearing the comments of Friesen.

The ESL head of communications also said we have worked on some changes in our rules and reached out to authorities for support, and the ESL will announce its next steps in a few days. Rozwandowicz said the ESL rules forbid participating in the tournament while on drugs but the Electronic Sporting League do not have a list of repercussions that we can match to every incident in a straightforward manner. Anna added full blown drug tests at esports events are far away, but that doesn’t mean we cannot and should not try to tackle the issue.

Anna Rozwandowicz also said Friesen is an ex-Cloud9 player and he is not on the team anymore. Anna added Kory Friesen is not on the team anymore, nor is he involved with them in any other way, and he has been let go off due to his and team’s poor performance. These comments by Anna made some think that there are enough grounds to suspect Friesen who may want to cause trouble for his former team.

Rozwandowicz also said we have no way of knowing whether he is telling the truth, or just being upset about being removed from the team and trying to annoy them. The ESL head of communications also remarked we have had cases in the past where players admitted to cheating but then denied everything once they discovered they can get disqualified and banned for it. Rozwandowicz said we only have Friesen’s word for it and added we cannot punish him or the team in any way if we don’t have any proof. Anna also remarked the ESL is hoping to have a waterproof strategy for identifying performance enhancing drugs, testing for their presence and punishing players who were caught using any of the forbidden substances.

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