Dec 15, 2021 11:43 AM EST

Doping for e-sports: Does pro gaming have an Adderall problem?

New York, New York – The use of Adderall and other medication that help people focus might make you think of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), but according to reports by The Washington Post and PCGamer, there might be widespread use of the stimulants among gamers in e-sports.

Pro gamers abuse Adderall, but it isn’t really making them better players.  © Collage: IMAGO / agefotostock, IMAGO / AFLO

The players turn to Adderall as a kind of performance enhancer to sharpen their response times and reflexes during games, in what some players call doping.

According to the US Anti-Doping Agency, stimulants are classified as Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and are 100% prohibited in professional sports, but in e-sports, the rules aren’t nearly as clear.

At the moment, regulations either don’t exist, or if they do, they have loopholes big enough to drive a semi full of Adderall through them.

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For example, players at in-person competitions can keep popping the pills if they show proof of needing the medication, and since most pro games are online, it’s virtually impossible to keep tabs on what players are using when they compete.

It’s also important to add that Adderall only improves your ability to focus for longer than usual. It doesn’t affect the key skills and reflexes you need to rise to the top of e-sports, so if you don’t have those skills, no amount of Adderall can help you win.

So, since there is no solid evidence that Adderall or similar drugs really make gamers better, so are they so common in pro gaming?

The placebo effect

The placebo effect is when you get better because you believe you will.  © IMAGO / agefotostock



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