When it comes to the cut-throat world of e-sports, players will seek out anything that gives them and legal professional advantage. And with the gaming industry standing to be worth near a billion dollars in 2019, it can be easy to see why so many players are seeking it out.
Is CBD used by players?
In short, yes. But not when playing.
Since being legalised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2019, other sports industries have taken the unusual step of allowing players to take the substance during matches. While the Electronic Sports League (ESL) that governs many main events has paid attention to this, they have already allowed players to take whatever substances they want when not playing; only caring about the state of the players when they are formally competing in a tournament – not letting players take any banned substances from the first to last days of any tournament.
While esports are amazing to watch, players can often up harming themselves more than helping. Taking substances such as Ritalin or Adderall to help drive focus can easily lead to addiction, dependency, or long-term damage. CBD, as it is known now, carries none of those risks and can be a powerful supplement to help professionals training on their downtime.
How can CBD help players?
Speed up cognition: When it comes to online gaming, reaction times are absolutely everything and any tricks or substances that can optimise a player’s reactions will always be actively sought out, potentially helping with a player’s mental acuity and focus, letting them train longer and improve while avoiding the downside of more harmful stimulants or supplements.
Improve recovery: The big one for CBD. Professional esports are highly demanding and put players at a high risk of RSI or long-term damage if they do not prepare properly. This is something so prominent there is a growing field of medical specialisation helping players who are suffering from tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. CBD’s potential ability to manage pain and reduce inflammation makes it a perfect complement to responsible use, stretching, and other therapies – making it a useful value add for any professional team looking to stay the distance.
Manage stress: When it comes to performance on the day, esports players can suffer psychological breaks the same way as their pro-athlete counterparts. With games like DOTA’s International taking streaming online to audiences of up to 15 million dedicated viewers, the pressure is intense. Taking CBD before the tournament can help stimulate the body’s CB1 receptors, producing calming serotonin that can lower your heart rate and make sure they are calm and relaxed in the run-up to the event, letting them play at peak efficiency.