Drone racing is about to fly to the next frontier in sports. Today, Playground Labs, a play-to-earn (P2E) gaming affiliate of crypto-investment fund, Hivemind Capital Partners (Hivemind), and the Drone Racing League (DRL), the world’s premier, professional drone racing property, announced a partnership to extend DRL’s high-speed drone races beyond IRL and esports and into the metaverse.

The companies will develop the first P2E sports competition on Algorand, the leading high-performance blockchain platform, where players will race DRL drones to earn cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which will transcend financial value from the digital sphere to reality. The DRL game achieves DRL’s goal of leveraging Algorand’s blockchain for their Digital Drone Racing series launch in the metaverse and marks Playground Lab’s inaugural product, setting a trend for more sports P2E application-development in Web 3.0.

“We’re excited to unveil Playground Labs to build the infrastructure of the metaverse economy and to enable everyone to earn real economic utility by playing the games they love. The Drone Racing League is the most innovative, inclusive and high-tech sport, and DRL is made for the metaverse and the future global economy, where P2E games will create community, economic sustainability and authentic engagement for participants around the world,” said Playground Labs CEO Sam Peurifoy.

The global gaming, cryptocurrency and drone markets are worth over $2 trillion as the emerging global audience of young, technology-obsessed “Tech-setters,” who love gaming, crypto, and immersive sports like DRL, continues to rise. 

“Our millions of fans love crypto, fintech and gaming, and we’re thrilled to partner with Playground Labs to create our first play-to-earn drone racing game on Algorand’s blockchain. Together, we will accelerate DRL’s growth as the first omnichannel sports league, enabling our pilots and fans to race drones across the physical, the virtual, and the metaverse, which will be paramount for all sports leagues moving forward,” said DRL President Rachel Jacobson.

DRL has been blending the digital and the real and rewarding fans through multiple formats since its inception. The league transforms players into professional pilots through their annual SIM Tryouts esports tournament on the DRL SIM, a true-to-life drone racing simulator on PlayStation, Xbox, Steam and Epic Games, offers cash prizes to top racers in their Drone Racing Arcade mobile game, and is the first sport in the air that fans can legally bet on. DRL’s first P2E game on the Algorand blockchain will unlock next generation fan experiences, create new cutting-edge brand integrations, and take DRL’s “real-life video game” to a different dimension.

“As a technology-powered sport, DRL continues to authentically innovate and create real use-cases on Alogrand’s fast, scalable and decentralized blockchain platform. We’re excited to create a new thrilling digital drone racing game with DRL and Playground Labs that will enable fans everywhere to own and monetize their drone racing experiences,” said Algorand COO W. Sean Ford.

The P2E gaming news comes as DRL gears up for their 2021-22 DRL Algorand World Championship Season finale tonight in Las Vegas at CES. The most competitive drone racing event, the DRL Vegas Championship Race Presented by T-Mobile, will feature the world’s best drone pilots, a spectacular aerial course outside T-Mobile Arena, and a free outdoor concert from the Grammy Award winning rock band, Weezer.

The DRL Vegas Championship Race Presented by T-Mobile will air on Saturday, February 5 and Sunday, February 20 at 1 pm EST on NBC and Twitter.

About Playground Labs
Playground Labs brings digital productivity to life in the metaverse. By developing decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and play-to-earn gaming products within the virtual world, Playground Labs builds next-generation infrastructure for the metaverse economy and enables everyone to generate real economic utility by playing the games they love. For more information, visit www.playgroundlabs.io.

About Drone Racing League
The Drone Racing League (DRL) is an innovative global sports, entertainment and technology property. The best drone pilots in the world fly in the league and millions of fans watch them race on NBC, NBCSN, and Twitter. With groundbreaking technology and immersive, high-speed races through virtual and live events, DRL is creating a new era of sports, combining both esports and real-life competition.

Founded by Nicholas Horbaczewski in 2015, DRL is a privately held company headquartered in NYC. For more information, visit www.drl.io. To join the conversation, follow DRL on Facebook at facebook.com/thedroneracingleague, on Twitter @DroneRaceLeague, and on Instagram @thedroneracingleague.

About Algorand
Algorand is building the technology to power everything from the creator economy to the convergence of traditional and decentralized finance. Founded by Turing Award-winning cryptographer Silvio Micali, Algorand developed a blockchain infrastructure that offers the interoperability and capacity to handle the volume of transactions needed for anyone to transition into the new digital economy. The leading decentralized infrastructure of choice for visionary leaders across more than 1000 global organizations, Algorand is enabling the simple creation of next generation financial products, protocols and exchange of value. For more information, visit www.algorand.com.

About Hivemind
Hivemind Capital Partners (“Hivemind”) is a crypto-focused investment firm dedicated to blockchain technologies, crypto companies and the digital assets ecosystem. Hivemind leverages a converging multi-strategy approach to create start-to-finish capital solutions for entrepreneurs, and provides category-leading infrastructure to institutionalize crypto investing. For more information, visit www.hivemindcapital.co.

By Press