eDoping: prohibited drugs and methods used in esports to improve esporting results

Updated: Feb 4

Electronic sports, or esports, is a term for organized competitive gaming at a professional level, that first appeared in the year of 1972 and has drastically developed since. Although labeling video games as a sport is a controversial point of debate at the moment, there are some similarities between esports and traditional sports, that cannot be overlooked. Popularity, emotions and business growth are surely some of the positive similarities, however both, traditional sports and esports, unfortunately suffer from unfair practices as well.

What is eDoping?

Esports tournaments are famous for their million-dollar prizes, which makes an ideal environment for cheating, as the distinction between winning and losing has never been bigger. One such method, adopted by some esports players, is eDoping. eDoping means a manipulation of the game’s outcome against fair play rules that increases the chance of winning for a certain player. There are two forms in which eDoping can occur - one has a big resemblance to traditional doping in traditional sports, whilst one exists only in cyberspace.

As in traditional sports, players in esports may use performance-enhancing drugs in order to “support” their way of playing. eDoping does not only aim to affect physical fitness, but also intellectual efficiency. Banned pharmaceuticals that players usually take are for example Adderall and Ritalin. Although they are far away from the steroids and growth hormones that infiltrated into traditional sports, they still give a big advantage to the player that uses them. Adderall for instance, is typically prescribed for people diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), but can also be used as a cognitive enhancer since it can make the user more focused, alert and able to concentrate for hours.

Source: Shutterstock

eDoping where computers are used instead of chemicals is another, equally prevalent form of doping in esports. The eDoper takes control of the program by hacking a game’s underlying software in order to alter its source code or object code. Through the years, esports have seen a wide variety of digital eDoping methods. For example, a cheat may empower one player to access the capability to see through walls or smoke or to enable an auto-aim feature to help with very difficult shots or to never have to reload. Another way for players to cheat is when they tweak and alter the game software and settings of the keyboard or mouse, to perform a series of actions with just a single click.

A famous software cheat happened in the Counter-strike: Global Offensive 2018 Tournament in Shanghai. A gamer was caught using an “aimbot hack” during his game. An aimbot is a software tool that allows player to shoot enemies without having to aim their weapon. As this helps the player to shoot more accurately with less skill, it is considered a serious violation in esports. The cheating player and his team were disqualified, however only the cheating player was later handed a five-year ban.

A cyber eDoping that does not require any form of modification of the source or object code, is very common as well. The so-called “stream sniping” is when a given player watches an opponent’s live stream of the match in which he or she is also currently playing, in order to gain an advantage of the opponent's intuition and next move. This however, is only possible if there is not an evident delay between the cheating player’s gameplay and the other person’s broadcast.

Fighting eDoping

Not long ago, eDoping was not strictly regulated nor talked about, as there was no government body or anti-doping policy in esports. It all changed when a professional Counter-Strike player casually announced that he and his teammates were taking Adderall when competing in one of the biggest esports tournaments. This led to the introduction of much stricter anti-doping measures by the Electronic Sports League (“ESL”), which organizes many of the world’s biggest tournaments. As ESL partnered up with established anti-drugs bodies, which also supervise more traditional sports, regular doping tests and penalties in case of violation, were promised. If a player tests positive, he or she can be punished with deduction from points and winnings or even disqualification and prohibition of playing for up to two years.

Cyber eDoping however, has to be combated very differently. Here, a list of prohibited performance-enhancing drugs, or saliva and blood tests do not help much. This is why legislators have taken several steps to fight cyber eDoping. For example, Polish legislator adopted a law that sets out the scope of the author’s economic copyright to the computer program. This Copyright Law prohibits any changes to the structure or modifications of the computer program without the consent of the copyright holder. The latter will usually be the game organizer, who acquired the economic copyright from the author. A cyber eDoping therefore violates the game organizer’s economic copyright and presents a basis for several legal claims against the violator, including claims for compensation for damages that the organizer has suffered.

Source: Shutterstock

Another country that has already introduced legal acts against cyber eDoping is South Korea. With the establishment of the Korean Esports Association in 2000, a regulation for taking the responsibility for eDoping was determined. A log-in system that allows linking a virtual account to a real person, ensures responsibility for criminal acts. Their penalties however, are far stricter, as you can be sentenced to two years of imprisonment with labor if you were caught “boosting” for profit. Boosting in esports means an unethical act, when a gamer logs into another gamer’s account to play a ranked game to increase their ranking.


eDoping is a violation of moral principles, breach of fair play rules and can even be a copyright infringement. This is why it is important to create a strict anti-doping set of rules and to also implement them into the industry of esports. Creating an efficient procedure and system for banning the violators may help significantly, not only in on-going cases but especially in preventing future incidents. So far, a lot has been done, but the fight never ends.

If you need legal support with addressing your intellectual property rights or other legal issues, Lemur Legal lawyers will be happy to help. Send us an inquiry at info@lemur.legal. Lemur Legal also operates SPIKE Esports Agency (SPIKE ešportna agencija), where we can offer you full support in your esports endeavours: hello@spikesports.agency.

eDoping: prepovedane substance in metode za izboljšanje rezultatov v ešportu

Elektronski šport oziroma ešport je pojem, ki označuje organizirano tekmovalno igranje video iger na profesionalnem nivoju. Prvič se je pojavil leta 1972 in se od tedaj močno razvija. Čeprav je označevanje igranja video iger za šport trenutno kontroverzno stališče, so med ešportom in tradicionalnim športom prisotne določene podobnosti, ki jih ne gre spregledati. Kljub nekaterim pozitivnim skupnim lastnostim, kot so širša priljubljenost, čustvena vpetost in poslovna rast, se obe dejavnosti žal spopadata tudi z nepoštenimi praksami.

Kaj je eDoping?

Ešportni turnirji so slavni zaradi milijonskih nagrad, kar ustvarja popolno okolje za goljufanje, saj zmaga ali poraz za udeležence predstavljata zelo različen izid in posledice. Ena izmed nedovoljenih metod, katere se poslužujejo nekateri ešportniki, je eDoping. eDoping pomeni manipulacijo izida igre v nasprotju s pravili poštene igre (‘fair play’), ki poveča verjetnost zmage za določenega igralca. Obstajata dve vrsti eDopinga, prva je močno podobna dopingu v tradicionalnem športu, medtem ko druga obstaja le v kibernetskem prostoru.

Kot v tradicionalnem športu, tudi v ešportu nekateri igralci uporabljajo substance za izboljšanje zmogljivosti, ki pripomore k njihovemu načinu igranja. eDoping ne vpliva le na fizično pripravljenost, temveč tudi na intelektualno učinkovitost. Prepovedana farmacevtska izdelka, ki se ju igralci običajno poslužujejo, sta na primer Adderall in Ritalin. Čeprav se dokaj razlikujeta od steroidov in rastnih hormonov, ki so prisotni v tradicionalnem športu, uporabnikom v ešportu nudita veliko prednost. Adderall je običajno predpisan ljudem z diagnosticirano motnjo pozornosti s hiperaktivnostjo (ADHD), vendar pa je lahko uporabljen tudi kot kognitivni ojačevalec, saj pri uporabniku izboljša osredotočenost, pozornost in zmožnost več-urne koncentracije.

Poleg farmacevtskih izdelkov, se za eDoping v podobni meri uporabljajo tudi računalniki. Oseba prevzame nadzor nad programom tako, da vdre osnovno programsko opremo video igre in spremeni izvorno ali predmetno kodo. Skozi leta so se v ešportu pojavile mnoge različne vrste digitalnega eDopinga. Določena goljufija lahko na primer igralcu omogoči sposobnost videnja skozi stene ali dim, mu omogoči funkcijo samodejnega merjenja v primeru težkih strelov ali pa odstrani potrebo po polnjenju pištole. Drug način goljufije je, ko igralec spremeni igralno programsko opremo in nastavitve tipkovnice ali miške, da izvede vrsto dejanj z enim samim klikom.

Slavna goljufija, povezana s programsko opremo se je zgodila na turnirju Counter-strike: Global Offensive 2018 v Šanghaju. Igralec je bil zasačen zaradi uporabe goljufije ‘aimbot’. Aimbot je programsko orodje, ki igralcu omogoča streljanje nasprotnikov brez potrebe po ciljanju z orožjem. Ker takšna metoda omogoča natančno streljanje igralca brez uporabe lastnih veščin, je v ešportu smatrana kot resna kršitev. Goljufivi igralec in njegova ekipa so bili diskvalificirani iz tekmovanja, omenjeni igralec pa si je kasneje prislužil 5-letno prepoved udeležbe.

Pogost je tudi kibernetski eDoping, ki ne zahteva modifikacije izvorne ali predmetne kode. T.i. ‘stream sniping’ je metoda, pri kateri igralec spremlja nasprotnikov prenos tekme v živo, v kateri oba igralca sodelujeta, da bi pridobil informacije o nasprotnikovi naslednji potezi in njegovi intuiciji. Takšna metoda je sicer uporabljiva le, če med igro igralca, ki goljufa in prenosom drugega igralca ni občutnega časovnega zamika.

Boj proti eDopingu

Še pred kratkim eDoping ni bil striktno reguliran, niti ni predstavljal resne teme pogovora, saj še niso obstajala vladna telesa ali protidopinška pravila v ešportu. Vse se je spremenilo, ko je igralec video igre Counter-Strike ležerno naznanil, da vred s soigralci uživa Adderall med udeležbo na enem izmed največjih ešportnih turnirjev. To je vodilo k precej strožjim protidopinškim ukrepom s strani Electronic Sports League (ESL), ki organizira mnoge od omenjenih turnirjev. S pričetkom sodelovanja med ESL in uveljavljenimi protidopinškimi telesi, ki nadzirajo tudi tradicionalni šport, so bili obljubljeni redni dopinški testi in kazni v primeru kršitev. Če je igralec pozitiven na testiranju, je tako lahko kaznovan z odštetjem točk in zmanjšanjem dobitkov ali celo diskvalifikacijo in prepovedjo igranja do dveh let.

Kibernetski eDoping po drugi strani zahteva drugačno obravnavo, saj v tem primeru seznam prepovedanih substanc ter odvzem sline ali krvi ne pomagajo prav veliko. Zaradi tega zakonodajalci sprejemajo različne ukrepe za boj proti kibernetskemu eDopingu. Poljski zakonodajalec je na primer sprejel zakon, ki določa obseg ekonomske avtorske pravice avtorja za računalniški program. Ta zakon prepoveduje kakršnokoli spremembo strukture ali modifikacijo računalniškega programa brez soglasja imetnika avtorske pravice. Slednji bo običajno organizator tekmovanja, ki je pridobil ekonomsko avtorsko pravico od samega avtorja. Kibernetski eDoping torej krši ekonomske avtorske pravice organizatorja igre in predstavlja podlago za več pravnih zahtevkov zoper kršitelja, vključno z zahtevki za povrnitev škode, ki jo je utrpel organizator.

Pravne ukrepe proti kibernetskemu eDopingu je sprejela tudi Južna Koreja. Z ustanovitvijo državnega ešportnega združenja v letu 2000, je bila dorečena regulacija glede odgovornosti za eDoping. Odgovornost za kazniva dejanja je okrepljena preko prijavnega sistema, ki povezuje virtualni uporabniški račun z določeno resnično osebo. Kazni so precej visoke, saj je na primer lahko kršitelj kaznovan z dvemi leti zaporne kazni, če je zasačen pri ‘boosting-u’ z namenom dobička. Boosting v ešportu pomeni neetično dejanje, pri katerem se igralec prijavi v račun drugega igralca z namenom lažno odigrati rangirano igro, da bi izboljšal lastno uvrstitev.


eDoping pomeni kršitev moralnih načel, pravil poštene igre in lahko predstavlja celo kršitev avtorskih pravic. Posledično je pomembno vzpostaviti jasen nabor protidopinških pravil in jih interpretirati v ešportno industrijo. Učinkovit postopek in sistem kaznovanja kršiteljev lahko izdatno pripomoreta ne le v trenutnih primerih, temveč tudi kot orodje za preprečevanje bodočih incidentov. Situacija se počasi izboljšuje, vendar pa je boj proti eDopingu daleč od končanega.

Če potrebujete pravno podporo glede vaših pravic intelektualne lastnine, vam bomo pravniki iz Lemur Legal z veseljem pomagali. Pošljite nam povpraševanje na info@lemur.legal. Lemur Legal upravlja tudi ešportno agencijo SPIKE, kjer ešportnikom nudimo celostno podporo: hello@spikesports.agency.

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