The Adderall Epidemic in Esports


With the rise in prize money in tournaments for Esports, the competition has grown fierce. Such competition has led athletes to search for competitive edges. From blue light blocking glasses to more precise keyboard switches or even the newest gaming chair, players will go to great lengths to gain an edge over their competition in today’s Esports climate.

Players will sometimes even go the extra mile and seek performance enhancing drugs, just as in any major sports league. In Esports, players are looking for edge in focus and attentiveness, while also being able to react quickly via their hand eye coordination. Such needs lead Esports athletes to enhance their performance with Adderall.


Adderall is an over-the-counter drug and both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the U.S. The Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) considers Adderall to be a performance enhancing drug. Further, the NFL, NBA and MLB all have Adderall on their banned substance list.

Adderall is a stimulant used by people who are diagnosed with ADHD and needs assistance with doing their daily tasks. The drug is meant to aid attentiveness and focus.

For those without ADHD disorder, the drug is termed a “study drug” – notably by college students using it to cram for finals or work. With the drug’s effects being so effective, many major league gamers have resorted to taking the drug.

Different gaming leagues have different rules, but tests are either ignored entirely or administered at a random rate. Either way, Adderall abuse in Esports seems to be the norm.

If an athlete isn’t using Adderall, they’re seemingly at a disadvantage to the rest of the field. Exactly like the MLB doping era, where if players refrained from doping, they were left in the wake of those who would take the risk. The consequences usually catch up, however.

Adam “KiLLa” Sloss

“Nobody talks about it because everyone is on it” former Call of Duty champion Adam “KiLLa” Sloss says. When asked if he had seen the issue be prevalent in the community, Sloss responded “Witnessed? Yeah, very frequently and a lot to be honest. It’s a major problem.”

After a long and illustrious 8-year major league gaming career, Sloss retired in 2019. He cited that one of the main reasons was that the rampant drug use in the sport “was too much to keep up with.”

What Should Esports Athletes Do to Improve Their Play?

Esports athletes should look towards more natural ways of increasing focus and energy while playing the games. Examples of ways Esports athletes could improve their performance in the gaming room include eating healthier, exercising, meditating, consuming caffeine, or the tried-and-true method, practice.

For more Esports news and content, read here.


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