One of the world’s largest drone-racing leagues is soaring into a new season with some high-flying innovations.
The Drone Champions League today announced the launch of its 2021 season with a hybrid of virtual and in-person drone racing.
Offering break-neck speeds of up to 99 mph, the races will span seven venues around the world and kickstart the DCL’s Women’s Cup.
The World Championship is off and running (well, flying) on June 20 with a match set in the virtual venue of “Proptown, USA.” In July, racers will zoom through virtual castle landscapes depicting Reutte, Austria followed by an online race at the Great (Virtual) Wall of China. In September, the virtual flying continues in “Olibando, USA” followed by races in Laax, Switzerland and China (TBA).
Racing teams will finally meet in Mexico City in November to duel for the championship crown. All races will be streamed live on Twitch and IQIYI.
This year’s schedule will see a change in format as each Drone Grand Prix will begin with round robin competition, rather than seeded brackets.
A DCL spokesperson notes:
“Across multiple tracks in all, pilots from seven opposing teams will clash, two by two, in small heats. The two teams with the highest scores will face the ultimate showdown in the Grand Final, while those with the third- and fourth-best results will race for the last podium spot in their own final. Both podium finals will include a climactic big heat, with all pilots flying at the same time.”
New team, new pilots
Joining the DCL lineup in 2021 is Spain’s SDT EUROFLYTEC team coming off an incredible season, landing the Spanish national title available.
“While fans can look forward to seeing DCL favorites like MinChan Kim, Luke Bannister and MinJae Kim back in action, the teams have also recruited new faces. The DCL Draft gives everyone the chance to become a professional drone racing pilot by showing their skills in DCL – The Game, and after weeks of in-game grinding, 100 candidates advanced to the team selection phase. The drafted pilots are already at work with their new teams.”
“We are thrilled to start DCL’s 2021 campaign, which will be the first-ever hybrid season in drone racing. With both virtual and real-life races on the calendar, we are so happy to bring the sport of drone racing to our fans across the globe again in these challenging times,” Benedikt Brandmeier, DCL Head of Sales and Business Development, said.
“The growth in audience and engagement throughout our virtual season last year showed us that combining both worlds would fascinate not only our teams and ourselves, but ultimately our community. Taking this to another level is our aim for this season, and we can’t wait to kick it off.”
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
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