In any sport, performance enhancing drugs or steroids are a sore subject. With the growing popularity of eSports, a discussion about this subject will need to start soon. Sure, eSports players would not gain an edge by using anabolic steroids, because they are made to enhance the physical while eSports are in huge part a mental venture; however, there are some prescription meds which can help you concentrate, for example.
Help with concentration and alertness, among other similar advantages, is precisely what Internet scammers are slowly trying to sell. On 23 November, the eSports Journalist of the Year, Richard Lewis, made a video about fake advertising of eSports supplements. A Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player, Ryan "fREAKAZOiD" Abadir, was featured in the video as a player who’s supposedly advertising the supplements. Of course, fREAKAZOiD himself hasn’t heard anything about it.
Now, over the weekend, an ad started going around Facebook, showing a League of Legends player, Team SoloMid’s Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg endorsing Synagen IQ. Of course, the whole thing is bullshit. Bjergsen himself didn’t take long at all to distance himself from the suspicious concoction on Twitter. Steps are being taken to make sure that the ad is not shown any more.
To be honest, despite the popular belief that everything you read on the Internet is true, you should keep in mind that it’s quite often false or at least not the whole truth. That’s what happens when you have a global unregulated space, where anyone can say anything they like. Unless your doctor recommends a supplement you could take to increase your alertness, take a sceptic look at all pharmaceutical ads you see.
Scams like this work by convincing you that you can get something unheard of. To give their scam some legitimacy, they put a face you’d recognize on the ad and allege that that person uses their product and tries to convince his friends or teammates to use it as well. Also, scammers might spew bullshit statements about the need to keep this product secret because if everyone knew how good it was, everyone would want it. That is a very big, red, flashing warning sign. Finally, if a product is good and the player wants to endorse it, he will not do it for free. Being a professional, he will receive money for the endorsement and have a contract. The makers of the supplement will want him to publicize it as much as possible; the player will actually talk about it anytime he can. Don’t trust the player’s picture on some ad, check if he’s actually on record endorsing the product. Then, go to your doctor and ask about it. Better yet, just ignore internet ads for supplements. Most of the time, they are just crap.