APEX amazes with win against XBlades in Drone Champions League thriller

For the second Drone Grand Prix in a row, the dominant team of the DCL – XBlades Racing of Great Britain – won the initial race only to be defeated in the next.

At the Virtual Drone Grand Prix Proptown, USA, the successful challenger was APEX Racing of Denmark, who lost to XBlades on August 8, then came back to claim the top step of the podium on August 9. XBlades remain in the overall lead, so they are far from beaten in their quest for a fifth title in the World Championship of professional drone racing teams. But it’s now apparent that they are beatable.

  • The second stop of the DCL Virtual Season was the fictional city of Proptown, USA, an environment that took nearly 2,000 hours to create. There, the eight teams faced the first purpose-built virtual Drone Grand Prix tracks in DCL history – two daytime and two nighttime.
  • The pilots had only the 45-minute Qualifying periods to learn the tracks, and APEX came out on top in both sessions, earning pole position for Saturday and Sunday.
  • When the action opened on Saturday, the racing was so tight that placement in one heat came down to ten-thousandths of a second. At the end of the day, with a single heat left in the Grand Final between XBlades and APEX, the score was tied. XBlades’ Ashton Gamble, just 14, had the race of his young life, claiming the win to secure his team a 7-6 victory. APEX was second, and Quad Force One, who had scored a race win over XBlades at the season opener, was third.
  • On Sunday, XBlades defeated Quad Force One in the Semi Finals for the second consecutive day, then launched a Grand Final rematch with APEX. Neither team gave an inch, and just when it seemed like XBlades might pull away, Tomass Petersons of APEX stepped up and found another level, winning the last four heats to give the Danish team a 9-7 triumph.
  • Now XBlades lead the overall standings with 940 points. Immediately behind are Quad Force One and APEX, tied in the points at 870 each. The 70-point gap to the top is less than the points on offer for a mere fifth-place finish (80), making the World Championship well within reach. In fourth place with 530 points, Falcons Racing of Korea are also hunting a spot in the top three.
  • The new Proptown racetracks are a pilot’s dream, with the Virtual Season enabling developers to include features such as dives and corkscrews never before seen in any drone racing series. The same tracks will be available for anyone to play in DCL – The Game: The tracks from Saturday’s race will be available from Monday, 10 August, while Sunday’s tracks can be accessed beginning Monday, 17 August.
  • Since 2016, DCL has brought together the planet’s best drone pilots, who compete on eight international teams in spectacular settings globally – and this year the season is virtual. Each race is broadcast live, worldwide on TV and online. Anyone can battle for a place in the DCL Draft Selection by playing DCL – The Game, available for PC/Mac, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

Next: The second half of the DCL season takes off with the Virtual Drone Grand Prix, Great Wall of China, on Saturday and Sunday, 22-23 August, at 08:00 UTC, on juked.gg.

Keep up with the DCL all year long at www.dcl.aero and DCL social channels.

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