Doping regulations within the industry of the eSports


¿Is the doping an issue regulated within the E-sports? During the last years the industry of eSports have grown exponentially and it has been affected by issues that people may think only concern to “normal” sports. The use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs (“PEDs”) has become such a major concern for the eSports that even during the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final 2019, FIFA decided to perform doping control tests to players that were chosen randomly. However, not only FIFA has implemented this kind of regulations, but also others organizations such as the International eSports Federation (“IESF”) and the Electronic Sport League (“ESL”).

Throughout this article we are going to talk about some of the most important implementations regarding the control and regulation of doping into eSports.

In 2016 the eSports Integrity Commission (“ESIC”) was created by key eSports stakeholders, such as tournament operators, national eSports federations, governmental bodies and other companies related with the industry[1]. The aim of this non-profit organization is to deal with and fight against all forms of cheating and malpractice that threat the integrity of eSports just like match manipulation and doping. ESIC created an Anti-Doping Code, to which is bounded to any player who is (…) a registered user or account holder of any Game published by or offered for play or streamed by an ESIC Member and who plays or has played or attempts to play against another Player in a Match[2]. ESIC created its own prohibited list, considerable shorter that the Prohibited List of the World Antidoping Agency (“WADA”), under which are identified the substances that the players are forbidden to use. Almost all of the prohibited substances by ESIC are stimulants commonly used to treat the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”), but it also includes non-stimulant medications for ADHD and anxiety medications. The use of any of the prohibited substances, when there are no therapeutic use exemptions, constitutes a violation to the Code.

The ESL, the world’s largest eSports company and one of the most popular video games’ tournament operators, with both online and offline competitions, became member of the ESIC since 2017. Consequently, all the events, competitions and leagues operated by the ESL, for instance, ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League, ESL National Championships, among others, are bounded by the ESIC Anti-Doping Code. Furthermore, ESL is also member of the World ESports Association (“WESA”), an association created between ESL and some of the most important eSports companies in order to “professionalize eSports by introducing elements of player representation, standardized regulations, and revenue shares for teams[3]. WESA, in contrast to ESIC, uses as reference to establish the occurrence of an antidoping rule violation the Prohibited List of WADA[4]. However, it is important to note that not all the eSports leagues, tournaments operators and eSports leagues are members of ESIC or WESA and therefore, not all eSports stakeholders implement doping control.

FIFA, who is a signatory of WADA, organizes the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final, competition that gathers 32 players who qualified through the EA Sports FIFA Global Series. Within this competition FIFA decided to introduce since 2018 doping control tests in order to “ensure the players were clean and protect the integrity of the competition”[5]. In this sense, according to the FIFA’s Anti-Doping Report 2019/2020 for the competition of 2019 ten players were tested and none of the samples collected resulted in any adverse analytical findings.

Finally, it is clear that although during some period of time the doping within the eSports was not regulated, currently some organizations and associations of the eSports industry have implemented, in an uncoordinated manner, doping regulations in order to fight this problematic. However, despite the doping controls introduced by ESIC, ELS, WESA and FIFA, there is a long way to go in order to fight efficiently and satisfactorily the doping into eSports taking into account that not all leagues, promoters and videogames companies who organize eSports tournaments are part of those organizations and as a consequence, don’t implement doping controls. It is important that eSports stakeholders realize the importance of an effective, coordinated and integral doping control since its importance for the maintenance of the integrity, ethic, popularity and public image of eSports, as well as for the safety, mental and physical health of the players and for the equal chances for all competitors.

For more information concerning doping and eSports you can visit our webpage and in case of any doubt please contact as at

Por : Paola Varela





[1]Reference from:

[2] Art. Anti-Corruption Code ESIC

[3] Reference from:

[4] Code of Conduct and Compliance for Teams and Players of WESA

[5] FIFA Anti-Doping Report 2019-2020

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