Cloud9 Adderall Controversy

Cloud9 Adderall Controversy

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Updated Oct 05, 2020 at 06:14AM EDT by shevyrolet.

Added Aug 06, 2015 at 12:04AM EDT by Synge.

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The Cloud9 Adderall Controversy refers to the discovery that the e-sports team Cloud9[26] was using the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication Adderall as a performance enhancing drug in various professional competitions. Following the revelations, the pro-gaming network Electronic Sports League (ESL) installed strict anti-drug rules on players and teams.


Adderall as a Performance Enhancing Drug

Adderall is a stimulant prescribed for people with ADHD, which consists of four amphetamine salts that work by increasing the activity of the dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in the brain. The drug has been shown to have various cognition-enhancing effects and has been reported to increase stamina and alertness.[25] The use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) within professional e-sports has been a hotly debated topic for many years, with various rumors circulating about their use among pro gamers.[3][4][5][6]

Kory Friesen Interview

On July 12th, 2015 YouTuber LAUNDERS CSTRIKE uploaded an interview with former Cloud9 player Kory "Semphis" Friesen in which he stated that Cloud9 had taken the ADHD medication Adderall to boost their performance during the professional Counter Strike competition ESL One Katowice (shown below).

Notable Developments

Following the release of the interview, several gaming news sites were quick to report on the matter, including SegmentNext,[7] BreitBart,[8] Kotaku,[9] TechnoBuffalo,[10] GameRant[11] and CheatSheet.[12] Additionally, many vloggers and gaming news shows on YouTube reported on the interview, including Richard Lewis (shown below, left) and Machinima ETC's parody gaming news show TUGS (shown below, right).

ESL Response

On July 20th, 2015, head of communications at ESL Anna Rozwandowicz told the gaming news site Wired that stricter rules to police the use of PEDs within the gaming network would be implement, which would include randomized drug testings of the player base.[13] On July 23rd, the ESL announced that it had partnered with the NADA (Nationale Anti Doping Agentur) to create a fair anti-PED policy for the gaming network.[17] Several news sites reported on the ESL's response including The New York Times,[18] The Wall Street Journal[19] and ESPN.[20] Additionally, other YouTubers and YouTube gaming news shows reported on the announcement, including Force Gaming (shown below, left) and TUGS (shown below, right).

Search Interest

External References

[1] NowGamer (via Wayback Machine) – Are eSports Stars Using Performance Enhancing Drugs?

[2] New Scientist – Esports: Doping is rampant, industry insider claims

[3] Softpedia – Study: eSports Players Have Physical Advantages over Normal Players

[4] News of Legends (via Wayback Machine) – Anti-Doping Rules – should eSports be concerned about performance enhancing drugs?

[5] BoingBoing – Is drug use a problem for eSports?

[6] Eurogamer – Winners might use drugs

[7] SegmentNext (via Wayback Machine) – Drug Abuse in Competitive Gaming is Turning Into a Menace


[9] Kotaku – Pro Counter-Strike Player: 'We were all on Adderall'

[10] TechnoBuffalo – Pro Counter-Strike player says everyone takes Adderall at eSports competitions

[11] Game Rant – CS:GO Pros Admit to Adderall Use During Tournaments

[12] CheatSheet – Drugs and Competitive Gaming: It’s Already Happening

[13] Wired – ESL responds to esports doping controversy

[14] PCGamer – ESL preparing new anti-doping rules following Katowice Adderall controversy

[15] VG24/7 – ESL looking to implement random drug testing after recent Adderall scandal

[16] LazyGamer – eSports organizations to toughen up drug rules following player doping admission

[17] ESL – ESL leads anti-PED initiative for esports with the support of NADA

[18] The New York Times – Drug Testing Is Coming to E-Sports

[19] The Wall Street Journal – Now Coming to E-Sports: Random Drug Testing

[20] ESPN – ESL announces plans to test for PEDs

[21] The Denver Post (via Wayback Machine) – Electronic Sports League to begin random drug tests

[22] Fortune – Just like with regular sports, eSports athletes will be tested for drugs

[23] arstechnia – Winners can’t use drugs: Anti-doping tests are coming to eSports [Updated]

[24] PCGamer – After drug scandal, ESL says 'esports needs to mature'

[25] Wikipedia – Adderall

[26] Wikipedia – Cloud9

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Top Comments


in reply to james_w

Chess and Poker are considered sports

Plus Video game is not a real sport, it's
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