While live sporting events across the globe have been hampered by the COVID pandemic, drone racing keeps flying fast.
On Sunday, the Drone Racing League will present the winner-take-all championship of the 2020 FanDuel DRL SIM Racing Cup, the fantasy, virtual drone racing series, on NBCSN and DRL’s Twitter.
Here’s how it works:
A dozen elite drone pilots will fly virtual replicas of high-speed, racing drones on the DRL SIM, a true-to-life drone racing video game, from their homes around the world.
A DRL spokesperson notes:
“Competing to be crowned the FanDuel DRL SIM Cup Champion, pros will zoom above hundreds of planes in the U.S. Air Force Boneyard map, which is inspired by Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the world’s largest military aircraft maintenance facility. The first-place winner will donate their prize winnings to Direct Relief, which provides PPE for frontline workers.”
So far, the SIM Cup has given rookie’s a chance to shine – Amari Christian Van Sloun of Ames, Iowa, won five out of the last seven races Evan “Headsup” Turner, DRL’s youngest-ever pilot, crossing the finish line milliseconds behind him to take second place. Turner came in first in the remaining two levels, with Van Sloun trailing just behind him.
“DRL is the NBA of drone racing. The pilots who compete in the league are the best in the world and coming in first throughout the FanDuel DRL SIM Racing Cup is a huge deal,” Van Sloun said.
“After this Sunday, I’m going to focus on training for the real-life Allianz World Championship Season with the same practice regiment that made me take the lead in the SIM Cup.”
The DRL made headlines earlier this year with the hiring of former NBA SVP of Global Partnerships Rachel Jacobson league president. Jacobson will be tasked with scaling DRL up, developing new opportunities to engage league partners with more than 250 million global fans.
Earlier this year, DRL also unveiled DRL Academy, an innovative STEM program featuring online learning opportunities for students studying science, engineering, and unmanned aircraft technology.