TEAMS, TRACKS AND TENSIONS AT THE GREAT WALL


The second half of DCL’s Virtual Season launches on 22-23 August with the Virtual Drone Grand Prix, Great Wall of China. Only one team in the current lineup – the defending World Champion XBlades – has won at Simatai before, when DCL first came to Asia in 2018. And even they couldn’t manage to sweep the two-race weekend. This time, can any team take it all at the Great Wall?

KEYS TO THE SIMATAI SHOWDOWN

Three-way fight for the overall lead. Since the start of 2020, Britain’s XBlades have had to fend off the resurgent Americans of Quad Force One, and the battle intensified when XBlades split Round Two with Denmark’s APEX Racing. The Brits now stand alone at the top of the standings with 940 points; but Quad Force One and APEX are tied just 70 points behind. Considering that fifth place is worth 80 points, any one of the three could gain – or lose – the advantage in a single day of racing. Korea and Japan are poised to jump into the overall podium mix as well.

Epic location. The setting for this weekend’s action is W-Town, or Water Town, a virtual version of the northern-styled resort that lies at the foot of Simatai (Si Ma Tai), the most well-preserved section of the Great Wall of China. A World Heritage Site, Simatai was named one of the world’s “must-visit locations” by The Times. The environment thrilled pilots and fans in 2018 and inspired the designers of this year’s virtual tracks to create truly staggering lines.

Terrific tracks. The W-Town racetracks mix fast-flowing and technical sections among bridges, canals and new features not seen in DCL before. And the backdrop is the Great Wall itself. The eight teams will not see the tracks until the 45-minute Qualifying sessions, but their names are enough to make the imagination race: Saturday 1 – Sun and Moon; Saturday 2 – Pathfinding;  Sunday 1 – Five Stars; Sunday 2 – Castle Run.

Big Heats are back (if there’s a tie). With a new format for the Virtual Season, so far in 2020 DCL hasn’t witnessed the mayhem of a Big Heat, where the eight players from two opposing teams all race at the same time. But a midseason revision to the rules now requires a Big Heat as the decider whenever two teams are tied, replacing a countback to Qualifying results.

Two home teams. Among the seven permanent DCL teams at the Great Wall will be the China Dragons, currently sixth overall and hungry to claim their first points of the season. Meanwhile, the Wildcards are an all-Chinese team who earned their seats by playing DCL – The Game. Keep in mind that a Wildcard team snagged a Simatai podium in 2018.

WHERE TO WATCH

Follow the action on Saturday and Sunday, 22 and 23 August, at 8:00am UTC, on juked.gg.

In the meantime, follow us on Twitch

TEAMS FOR THE VIRTUAL DRONE GRAND PRIX, GREAT WALL OF CHINA
Apex Racing (Denmark)
China Dragons (China)
Drone Sports Global (Russia)
Falcons Racing (Korea)
Quad Force One (USA)
Raiden Racing (Japan)
XBlades Racing (GBR)
Wildcard Team (China)

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