For those that know me, they know that I have been a call of duty fan since the early days, specifically an Optic Gaming Fan. All about that green wall!
Recently, Huke, an SMG player that was on the Dallas Empire Franchise roster last year for the Champs came out and spoke out about his usage of Adderall.
As a long-term fan of Esports, as someone that begged for years for something as organized, and as-built out as the franchise system that the current Call of Duty League is. I watched the insanity that pros went through with the crazy tourneys and events that were built out. The dozens of different organizations that put on these events might be a bit miffed for getting edged out, but at the end of the day, a professionally built-out league is a massive positive change.
That said, there are responsibilities that the league has to step up to, and this is one of them. For those who are not aware stimulants have been a massive issue in professional e-sports for decades now. It's a known issue, it's one that really does not get talked about much because it's basically pandora's box.
A number of current, or former pros are speaking out, and at least one of the content creators for the New York Subliners came out and talked about the issue a bit more in-depth. During the call, the usual Co-host got a call from his employer telling him to take a step back because the Commissioner of the COD league was upset about them going about it…
This is a huge issue. PEDs in any sport is. It creates an uneven playing field for players and ignoring the issue enables people who have a potentially serious addiction issue to continue without having some sort of reason outside of themselves to stop taking the drugs. At one point it was basically assumed all pros were on addy. This is an issue, this is a HUGE problem, and it is one that the COD League needs to step up on and get taken care of.
COD League is in its infancy, it is still gaining traction, and has a long way to go to get to the point of say the NBA, or the NFL in terms of production, or in terms of popularity. Now, with that said it has done amazingly well and is quickly becoming the poster child for e-sports leagues! So do not assume I am bashing the league here, in fact, I would love to be a part of the team for Activision working in the league and helping it grow… It is a great opportunity for so many and will grow to be a powerhouse.
I keep explaining that I like to put the cards on the table as far as issues that I see, but that I like to be part of the solution.
Here is what I would say would be a start. Monthly random UAs. Completely random. Literally, assign every single pro a number, and once a week draw a number, have a medical professional administer either a blood test or supervise a UA for the pro who is called. Zero exceptions. No missing an appointment, no waiting, no heads up just have people show up at the practice locations and lock down a sample and move on. That would immediately start down the right path. It is a bit invasive, but it is what most athletes go through, and honestly should go through.
Additionally, I think that in tandem with these tests that there should be a 3–6 month period in which all pros are given leeway to step up and get treatment, and ween off of the substances that they are on. This is critical. There needs to be an empathetic way to get people through a struggle, potentially for their life.
There needs to be a strict discipline structure after that. It needs to include REASONABLE fines for both the team and the player. There needs to be a harsh side with both suspensions, and expulsion from the league.
Activision, Call of Duty League, Teams… Players… Step up. Now is the time. This got blasted wide open, and it is a critical issue for fairness in the competition, it is a critical issue from a moral standpoint, and it is a critical issue when it comes to the health and longevity of the players, and finally, it is a critical issue when it comes to image.
I implore COD League to take a hard and fast stance on this. Get with the legal team, get with a healthcare provider (or 10), and get this locked in and ready as we finish out the current season. Let’s make the COD league the best e-sports league in the world! Let’s BLOW IT UP! Much love!