Smoking weed and playing video games is about as synonymous as apple pie and America, but the Electronic Sports League has announced that its banned drug list for competitions will include marijuana.
ESL posted details about its list of banned drugs during competitions to Reddit this week.
“Marijuana is on the list of prohibited substances for during the competition. This means that recreational use of it outside (before) the event days will not be punished,” the ESL wrote via Reddit. “Using it during the tournament — from the start of the first day until the end of the last day of competition — is strictly prohibited.”
ESL says it will not implement mandatory testing at this time, leaving it open to randomly test anyone at any time during a competition. The organization states that it is open to discussing prescriptions on the banned list with players on a case-by-case basis.
A few weeks ago, we wrote about the new rules ESL put into place, banning pro-gamers from using performance-enhancing drugs during competition to stay awake and alert. The ban came into effect after a few pro gamers admitted to using Adderall during an ESL competition earlier this year.
While some might question why anyone would want to use marijuana before entering a competition, scientific evidence is supporting what every snowboarder and surfer knew a long time ago — using cannabis can actually enhance performance.
How is that possible? In this Business Insider piece, which sums up Men’s Journal and Outside stories on the topic, they look at how using cannabis before stressful activities can reduce performance anxiety and fear (very helpful for those looking to jump off a mountain with a board attached to their feet), increase concentration and get athletes mentally in the zone.
That said, the rest of you 21-plus amateur gamers can keep on responsibly using marijuana here in Oregon and Washington. It is Hempfest this weekend, after all.