“Drone racing is ahead of the curve,” says Drone Champions League CEO Dr. Michael Kostka. “And now DCL intends to advance the sport even further with a hybrid format that enables fans to immerse themselves in both physical and virtual events at spectacular new locations.”
With a steadfast belief in the potential of Drone Champions League teams and pilots, as well as the league itself, DCL’s highly motivated crew is taking action. Their goal: strengthening the organization to develop drone racing from a niche sport to a sport for the masses, and making DCL a globally renowned racing series in the process. They call it DCL 2.0.
The season so far
DCL had been conducting physical events since 2016 – including a Drone Grand Prix on the Champs-Élysées that drew 180,000 spectators – when the pandemic made it necessary to hold an entirely virtual season on DCL – The Game last year. 2021 was slated to be DCL’s first hybrid season combining both types of events, but ongoing concerns surrounding Covid-19 and variants made that vision increasingly challenging. Finally, the organizers made the difficult decision to cancel what would have been the only non-virtual event of 2021, the season finale in Mexico City.
Yet while it won’t be possible to race in Mexico City, a revised calendar will fulfill the six virtual grand prix events that were promised at the beginning of the season.
DCL’s Board of Directors member, Dr. Alexander Knourek, MBA, explains, “We are eager to give our community and pilots a thrilling and satisfying experience, including an epic world championship finale with stunning tracks.
The races that remain
When it comes to the four remaining races of 2021, DCL aims to serve up the best showdowns of the season.
Two action-packed double-header weekends are being planned, with dates soon to be announced. At each, there will be a full race on Saturday and another on Sunday, both featuring new tracks:
- Races 3 and 4 will be held in late October 2021 in the frozen mountain scape of the Virtual Drone Grand Prix Laax (Switzerland).
- Races 5 and 6 will take off in late November 2021 at an exciting venue spot.
Kostka says, “We’re looking forward to a gripping close to the season, including the fight for the World Championship and the conclusion of our first-ever Women’s Cup.”
“Ever since our racing was interrupted a few weeks ago, we have been reorganizing and developing strategy to set the course for a DCL 2.0 that will kick off with 2022,” says Kostka.
DCL 2.0 leverages the league’s existing strengths while expanding and innovating to the next level. As always, DCL will remain faithful to racing in breathtaking settings, from global capitals to surreal natural wonders. And after two years of virtual world championships, organizers are in close collaboration with promising host cities all over the world to determine the location for the first physical event of the upcoming hybrid season.
“We can hardly wait to invite families, friends and peers to experience one of our outstanding events together,” comments Knourek.
As always, DCL will offer the chance for new amateur pilots to develop their skills all the way to the pro level. But there will be a heightened focus on strengthening and expanding the community, whether it’s working with pilots and teams, introducing new initiatives and activities, or creating more special content for fans.
“We are keen on establishing the full hybrid esports pyramid, starting from consoles and PCs to virtual and physical league races. Along the way, we are strengthening our work with existing channels and are in final stages of negotiations with additional channels,” Knourek reveals. “So stay tuned – this is going to be exciting!”
Keep up with the concluding races of the 2021 World Championship, as well as the rollout of DCL 2.0, on DCL social channels and at dcl.aero.