Tech by VICE

'Counter-Strike' Just Had Its Biggest eSports Event and Nobody Was on Adderall

This was the first ESL event with drug testing.

by Emanuel Maiberg
Aug 25 2015, 4:00pm

Photo: ESL/Flickr

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive just had its biggest eSports event ever in Cologne, Germany, and none of the contestants who participated in the tournament were abusing Adderall or other performance enhancing drugs.

This was the first event in which players were randomly tested using saliva tests. The new policy was implemented following an interview in which a pro Counter-Strike player admitted he and his team were "all on Adderall" at another ESL event, but the ESL was testing for all drugs that are on the World Anti Doping Agency's list of banned substances, which includes everything from heroin to cannabis.

"ESL conducted randomized anti-doping testing among players in the competition, which returned negative results for all tested players," the organization said in a press release. "ESL will continue to implement the newly established policy for all events in the ESL One series."

More than 11,000 attendees filled Germany's largest indoor arena LANXESS for each day of the event and over 27 million unique viewers watched the tournament on Twitch, according to ESL, which put on the event and is one of the biggest eSports organizations in the world.

The most important figure here is that the event peaked with 1.3 million concurrent viewers, a 30 percent increase over the last ESL One event five months ago, and a new record for the organization and Counter-Strike as an eSport in general.

The game is still much smaller than top eSports games like Dota 2 and League of Legends, but it's growing fast, despite broadcasting challenges due to the game's first-person perspective, as Motherboard has covered previously.

In case you're wondering, Swedish team Fnatic defeated French team EnVyUS in the final match, taking home most of the $250,000 prize pool.

More importantly, they did so without being jacked up on Adderall, assuming you trust ESL's newly established anti-doping policies.