Modafinil Used in Professional Chess and eSports Events.
Another common question we get is how does modafinil benefit you for gaming? I am going to answer this question in a few stages.Paul Turner – Dr Modafinil
One thing for sure is that many people argue that Modafinil gives professional gamers an advantage.
It’s common knowledge to millions of people; eSports is working towards becoming one of the most highly-valued industries in the world! Forecasts from NewZoo report that revenues are anticipated to hit $1.5 billion, a significant 35.6% hike from $700 million produced back in 2017. This comes in line with an announced worldwide eSports following of nearly 400 million spectators this year which is foretold entirely to climb further in size.
Add the point that there is prize money to the tune of millions of dollars to be attained per game. Amidst the attracted recognition being afforded towards the fame and money provided to a professional eSports player; it’s then, only logical that contestants will utilise every means possible to give themselves a competitive edge. One such advantage is to employ smart nootropics such as Modafinil.
And this is something not just for video gamers; there are also concerns for people competing in Chess!
The WCF (World Chess Federation) has routinely performed drug tests. Not because all chess players are enhancing their play with nootropics and smart-drugs, but bettering the sport’s bid to be a part of the 2020 Olympics. The International Olympic Committees mandate is that each game has such a program set in place.
However, Olympics or not, the WCF’s drug testing is probably a good idea. A randomised controlled trial has confirmed that two common prescription drugs—ritalin and modafinil can be used to intensify performance during chess games. Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent used to manage sleep disorders, while Ritalin is often used to heal narcolepsy and ADHD. Both drugs are commonly used for off-label use as “smart drugs” to enhance cognitive function.
Why Are Professional Gamers Using Smart Drugs?
Let’s have a reality check: Many games at a competitive level especially, require extraordinary levels of mental attention and endurance, particularly throughout drawn-out events where a split second is all it necessitates to make the disparity between defeat or victory.
Video games are not “just” video games anymore. Players at the most significant level get their full-time income entirely from playing in tournaments. Tournaments are being observed by millions all around the world. Investors and sponsors support these contestants with an expectation that they will remain to win.
There’s a lot at stake for those young contestants, who ordinarily range wherever from their teens to their twenties. The global smart-drug and nootropics market is assumed to reach an appraisal of $6 billion by 2024. Moreover, it’s no shock that this increase is occurring alongside spectator competitions such as eSports.
If a nootropic can make sufficient difference when it gets to performance, you can wager that there will be widespread use amongst professional gamers.
What Are The Banned Nootropics in eSports?
Surprisingly, there has previously been continuing debate and discussion throughout the prohibiting of certain substances from eSports tournaments. The ESL (Electronic Sports League), stated in 2015 that it would be practising the controls of the NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) and the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) to reinforce the prohibition of performance-enhancing drugs.
What nootropics are allowed?
As a general rule-of-thumb, I would look at the organic supplements within our Top Ten List of stacks; things like Ashwagandha, Niacin, a Good Multi-Vitamin etc. will be beneficial to you mentally not just physically. And for any authority in professional chess or eSports to criticise that would be as ridiculous as complaining about someone reading to improve their vocabulary or someone getting 8 hours of sleep has an unfair advantage.
Some substances that are forbidden are illegal entirely, and so their appearance is not surprising. This incorporates (but not limited to) morphine, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana. While they’re not recognised as nootropics or smart drugs, they unquestionably possess cognitive changing effects, that could point to an unfair edge.
Nevertheless, there are cognitive enhancers already within the records of both agencies that any nootropics specialist would immediately recognise. These include Modafinil, Armodafinil, Ritalin, Adderall and others. Distinctly, all of these nootropics need a doctor’s prescription for legal use.
WADA has announced a comprehensive listing of banned substances that are publically open for further viewing. It categorises them on the evidence of their use, and the foundation of the sport being performed.
What Is The Legal Interpretation Of A Nootropic?
An unsolved disagreement behind the banning of nootropics is that one-size-fits-all definition of what creates a nootropic does not directly exist. A nootropic can be a prescription drug which is controlled by a country’s governing body. Besides, it can also be an over-the-counter formulation that utilises natural ingredients.
Many governing organisations do not formally recognise nootropics as an established form of drugs, and consequently, make no meaningful effort to control them. Since nootropics can encompass practically any substance that has mild cognitive benefits, it will be challenging to enforce standardised examinations. This is primarily true for “stacks” that comprise numerous nootropics in a single formulation.
A crowd of researchers in Sweden and Germany recruited 39 competitive chess players; their average IQ was 127, and they had an average chess Elo rating of 1700 (Elo is a rating in the chess system used to conclude a chess players’ skill level). The group was slit up to test how they performed after employing either 200mg of modafinil, 200 mg of caffeine, 20mg of Ritalin or a placebo. Each member then executed twenty games against the computer which had been tailored to their skill level. In each match, the participant had fifteen minutes to perform their moves.
Earlier studies on smart drugs had shown that they favour people with inferior scores to attain a fair-playing field. Among the various drugs examined, only modafinil had shown to increase the attainment of high scorers. So the researchers went into the research expecting to see little change.
The results of Ritalin and especially modafinil were notable. The drugs could improve the player’s ranking by 35 Elo points, which moved the average member in the study from being a world ranking of 5,000 to 3,500. Put a different way; a nootropic could intensify the chance of winning a chess competition by 5%, which in the environment of competitive chess is a tremendous advantage. The only drawback is that nootropics (except modafinil) could be detrimental in the rapid chess games, a quick version of the game which typically grants less than 60 minutes to a player to perform their moves.
The research, of course, will need to be replicated to confirm that the results do stand up. If they do, the WCF will be proven right for conducting drug tests. Both Ritalin and modafinil are already on the World Anti-Doping Agency list, and caffeine is on a restricted list, which means contestants need to keep their intake low.
How Will eSports Officials “Test” For Nootropics?
There are various predicaments with the idea of examining eSports pros for banned substances.
To begin with, enforcement can only occur during competitions where the contestants are asked to be there in person. Throughout an event, contestants can be obligated to provide salivary and blood tests that look for forbidden NADA and WADA substances.
What is the resolution for online competitions where players can compete from the luxury of their own homes? How does one go about concurrently testing contestants from various international locations and documenting their results? This is undoubtedly a significant oversight that will need to be resolved in the future.
Furthermore, there is no centralised body of regulation when it comes down to the screening of players. Anti-doping people have been at ESL events, which are already profoundly regulated concerning other areas of gaming such as equipment checks and uniformly regulated software.
Ultimately, some people could bypass NADA and WADA controls with a doctor’s note that allows them to use forbidden substances. This is most usually seen with Ritalin and Adderall, two drugs that are used by people with a diagnosis of ADHD.
A real example of this aspect is Chris Davies, the professional baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles. He suffered a fifty game ban when it was determined that he was using Adderall before competing. Following then, he has to renew approval from the league commissioner years to use Adderall throughout baseball games.
The Future Of Nootropics in eSports and Chess Competitions.
Even the various die-hard authorities and thought leaders in the eSports and chess industry are unsure about the role that nootropics and smart-drugs will play. Additionally to the possible expansion of new regulations, new nootropics will unavoidably be developed that may provide similar or even better results to what is currently available.
We know how powerful Modafinil is for the brain, which is what attracted me to it years ago and resulted in me setting up this business. There is no way people can complain about competing in the business world, that would be ridiculous, and even if they did, I wouldn’t care.
But as for competitive events like chess and eGames, when you consider the prize money which is at stake, it is understandable that governing bodies and competitors who are not taking drugs like modafinil with understandably have a bitter taste in their mouth.
I hope this has been useful to you and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment or ask questions.