Bioethics Blogs

Guest Post: Performance enhancers and smart drugs in e-sports

Written by Toni Gibea

University of Bucharest, Romania

My aim is to show that the decision made by ESL (Electronic Sports League) to ban Adderall in e-sport competitions is not the outcome of a well-reasoned ethical debate. There are some important ethical arguments that could be raised against the ESL decision to ban Adderall, arguments that should be of great interest if we are concerned about the moral features of this sport and its future development.

In the first part of this post I will explain why and when doping became a primary concern for e-sports and I will also sum up some of the officials’ reactions. After that I’ll present the main arguments that could be raised against the idea that the use of Adderall is an obviously impermissible moral practice. My conclusion is that we should treat this subject matter with more care so that in the future decisions in this area will have a stronger moral grounding.

In the middle of July an interview with Cory `Semphis` Friesen (a Counter-Strike[1] professional player)[2] was uploaded on Youtube. In the interview Cory admits that he and his teammates used Adderall during the Counter-Strike Championship organized by ESL. Two days after the interview was uploaded, Motherboard published an article on doping in e-sports (electronic sports) that fueled many strong negative reactions[3] against this kind of practice. Although the subject of doping in e-sports was discussed months ago in many other articles,[4] this time the impact on the public was more profound.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.