Video games and cannabis smoking seems to go together for many like macaroni goes together with cheese. You will often find many of the competitors at esports competitions smoking cannabis between games while discussing their progress and casually relating to each other. while this is popular at some competitions, leagues such as ESL have banned the use of marijuana before or during their events.
One of the major reasons that ESL started to test players for drug use is because Cory Friesen who is also known as “Semphis” announced that he and his team use a drug called Adderall while participating in gaming competitions. Cannabis got caught in the crossfire because ESL partnered with the World Antidoping Agency (WADA) in developing their policies on drug use. WADA already had cannabis listed among their banned substances. Therefore, cannabis was also outlawed by ESL.
Why do people smoke weed while participating in video game competitions? Research and the experiences of many people suggest that cannabis smoking enhances focus and cognitive performance. These are definitely needed during a long video game competition. The calm that marijuana brings is also helpful in dealing with the stress of competitions. This is another top reason why an individual would want to use marijuana while participating in esports.
Many have contested the reasons behind WADA decision to continue to keep marijuana on the list of banned substances. In response to questioning on what determines whether a substance is banned or not, Ben Nicholson, WADA’s spokesperson, shared that there are three criteria that are considered in making the decision. The substance can be placed on their list if it has been found to unfairly improve their performance during the competition, poses health risks to the athlete and if the substance goes against what he calls the spirit of the sport.
The criterion of Cannabis smoking being against the spirit of the sport is very subjective and is a waste of time to debate. Nevertheless, many have confirmed that marijuana is actually performance-enhancing. The fact that it induces relaxation during a stressful competitive gaming session gives its users an edge over other competitors who do not use.
Cannabis clearly offers benefits to individuals who play at a competitive level; nevertheless, if you are not participating in one of these highly regulated competitions you can still use it to better perform in whatever level of video gaming competition you intend to participate in.