ImperialHal discusses Adderall abuse among Apex Legends pro players
Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen, a star player for TSM, has accused fellow Apex Legends professionals of using Adderall to gain an unfair advantage during LAN competitions.
After his victory in London, ImperialHal made a public remark on Adderall, saying in a recent stream that certain professional Apex players would be “dogs**t” without it, implying the drug’s prevalence in the pro-Apex scene.
While the 23-year-old did not reveal the teams or individuals that use the substance, it was not the first time he opened up about the pervasive use of Adderall in high-stakes tournaments.
In August 2021, He said on Twitter that those who use Adderall to get ahead in professional gaming “should be ashamed” of themselves.
When one of his followers asked whether Respawn was testing for it on LAN, he replied, “No one does pretty sure.”
Tripods player Rigo “Gent” Padilla responded to his post, saying, “Mf’s really taking a drug to be at the level that others are at naturally.”
Adderall abuse in esports
Doctors usually prescribe Adderall, Vyvanse and Ritalin to help with symptoms of ADD/ADHD. However, some professional gamers have been using those substances to improve their performance as the drugs boost alertness, focus and reflex.
Many players have spoken out about their own or other players’ use of Adderall. Speaking to Washington Post in 2020, former semi-pro Halo player Matthew “MellowMajik” Murphy said that when he took Adderall, he could “play better than ever” for 12 hours straight.
In a November 2018 Twitch stream, Overwatch player Timo “Taimou” Kettunen said that at least as many as 20 Overwatch League players took Adderall. In reaction to that claim, Jimmy “HighDistortion” Moreno, a former Gears of War pro player turned Fortnite streamer, posted on Twitter that it had been used by more than half of the competitive GoW community.
Retired Call of Duty player Adam “KiLLa” Sloss said, “Nobody talks about it because everyone is on it.” KiLLa explained that he frequently witnessed Adderall abuse during events. “It’s a major problem,” he said.
KiLLa quit early in 2019, ending an eight-year professional career. He said widespread drug use had significantly influenced his decision to retire, saying it was “too much to keep up with.”
In 2016, Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen, a professional Counter-Strike player, said in a YouTube interview that he and his team had taken Adderall while competing for a $250,000 prize pool.
Shortly after the revelation, ESL enlisted the aid of the Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) and started administering drug tests. Beginning in February 2016, the ESIC Anti-Doping Code has been applied to all ESL tournaments. The code came with a list of banned substances, including stimulants like Adderall.
Still, most leagues do not place a ban on Adderall or related medications and do not conduct testing for them. Even among professional players, there has been debate about whether Adderall can improve performance.
Emma “Emy” Choe, a professional Counter-Strike player, does not believe performance-enhancing substances like Adderall have much of an impact on a player’s ability to be successful.
Emy explained that many non-professional players had been using Adderall, yet they still couldn’t defeat the pros.
The 22-year-old player said if there were a noticeable difference in performance between gamers who use Adderall and those who don’t, more people would call for the ban on Adderall at competitive gaming events.