The ESL One Cologne Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament that wrapped up this weekend with an exciting win for Fnatic was the first event in which competitors were subject to randomized drug testing. And you'll never guess who was caught trying to cheat! Really, you won't, because I'm about to tell you: The answer is nobody.
A bundle of interesting figures came out of the Cologne event courtesy of ESL, including that it was the most-watched CS:GO event of all time. More than 27 million unique viewers spent a combined total of nearly 34 million hours watching the action on Twitch, including a a peak concurrent user count of over 1.3 million. That represents an increase of more than 30 percent over the ESL One Katowice CS:GO tournament in March.
"ESL One Cologne followed in the footsteps of ESL One Frankfurt in that it transformed a mere esports event into an esports festival," ESL said in a statement. "Visitors on-site were able to take part in many festival-like experiences including bullriding, testing their reflexes on a T-Wall, and getting an airbrush tattoo, brought to them by ESL’s sponsors/partners."
That's all very positive news, but what I find more interesting is that the newly-implemented drug testing came up with nothing. "Following up on the earlier announcement of ESL’s partnership with WADA and NADA to create and implement the anti-doping policy, NADA has prepared a prevention program which was presented to players and visitors during the event," it continued. "ESL conducted randomized anti-doping testing among players in the competition, which returned negative results for all tested players."
An ESL rep declined to say how many players were tested, citing the need to maintain confidentiality of its process. ESL said it will continue to implement the new drug testing policy at all future ESL One events.