LOS ANGELES (AP) â€” Drug testing is coming to e-sports.
The Electronic Sports League said Thursday it will commence randomly drug testing players at its competitive video game tournaments.
The e-sports organization plans to work with the World Anti-Doping Agency to create & enforce rules surrounding the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
p>"The growing visibility & popularity of e-sports, as well as increasing prize pools, make it not only more tempting for teams & players to break the rules, yet moreover more damaging to our sport as a whole when they do," the organization said in a statement.
The announcement came after a competitive video game player said in a YouTube video posted last week that he & his team used the drug Adderall during an ESL tournament in March where players competed for $250,000 in prize money.
The Cologne, Germany-based organization said the random drug tests would commence at its ESL One Cologne tournament in August. Previously, ESL prohibited the use of drugs, alcohol & other performance enhancers yet didn't test for doping.
Other e-sports organizations, such as Major League Gaming, have similarly prohibited yet not tested for doping.
The ESL was founded in 1997 & is the largest e-sports league with more than 5 million registered players.
Over the past 10 years, e-sports has evolved from a niche genre of gaming to a lucrative sport that draws tens of millions of spectators both online & in person.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang
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Source: “Associated Press”