In the lead-up to the release of DCL – The Game, the entire Drone Champions League community was invited to participate in five Monthly Challenges between April and August 2019: playing a Demo that offered a sneak peek of the full game to come.

Their feedback is only building anticipation for the game’s launch in 2020…

Alex “AK” Kubrak, XBlades Racing pilot from the UK, logged the best Challenge record, finishing on top in all five months. “I’ve been using various drone racing simulators to get better with my real-life flying, and have been a fan of DCL, so when I learnt that there’s a DCL sim coming, I was really keen,” he says. “I downloaded and started grinding it the moment it was released!

He continues, “Whether you’re into real-life drone racing or not, you should try it! There are aided flight modes that allow even beginners to experience drone racing… Get the actual transmitter you’d be flying your real drones, and the muscle memory would translate directly between game and real world.”

Alex found the sim to be an eye-opener even for an experienced pilot like himself, especially as it features the DCL’s latest 6-inch and 7-inch copters. “It was great to feel how 2018 and 2019 quads fly, as it’s very different to typical 5-inch quads and the usual tracks, and the competition kept me in the game.” he reports. The Demo also provided welcome surprises, like propwash simulation. “It’s something that not many drone racing simulators have, but it’s something that you have to cope with in real-life racing. So it’s great that DCL – The Game has it. Keeping it real,” Alex says.

The USA’s Kent “Thumbs” Beal appreciated the Demo, too. “Originally I just wanted to try it. But as I kept playing, the better I was getting and the higher on the leaderboard I was scoring. With the DCL Draft, I really wanted to see how high I could make it. I ended up being 17th in the world, alongside some insanely good pilots,” states Kent, who also took second place in the April Challenge.

Maurice Bey, whose Momo100 tag showed up in third on the leaderboards for the May Challenge and the June “King of Laax” Challenge, as well as second in July’s “King of Reutte” clash, has been piloting real drones for two years. The German saw his placements in a national FPV racing series jump from 53rd and 63rd in 2018 to three top-five results this season, including one podium. He attributes that real-life progression to playing DCL – The Game Demo and shares, “In a race in Germany [former DCL pilot] Malte Meibohm, aka Dekayz, came to me and said, ‘I hear you rock the DCL sim.’ For me, that was one of the big things in my whole life.”

Factors frequently mentioned by the Challenge participants when describing DCL – The Game Demo were the quality of the big DCL tracks and the feel of the gameplay. Two tracks were included, Laax and Reutte, just a taste of the full selection on the way. “LOVE THEM! We need more!” declares Alex, while Kent concurs, “The tracks are sweet. The ones that exist so far have their own unique challenges, so they feel very different from each other.

As to drone feel and handling, the pilots mirrored Alex’s enthusiasm for the unique opportunity to experience a DCL copter, and Dutch player Andreas Klein, who finished second in August’s “King of Summer” challenge, adds, “Here in the Netherlands I compete with real drones. The DCL game is realistic, and that’s hands down the most important thing about any sim.

Participants in the Monthly Challenges won prizes ranging from DCL merchandise to a DCL drone canopy. But it wasn’t only the players who benefitted. “I want to thank everybody who played DCL – The Game Demo in the Monthly Challenges,” says Filippo Vivirito, who leads the game’s development team. “They not only brought the competition to a very high level, but they’ve also helped us in polishing the game!”

He’s not the only one. Andreas is “definitely” looking forward to the release of DCL – The Game with its full feature set including 27 tracks, and notes, “I would love to play multiplayer and re-watch my own and others’ ghost flights.” While Kent says, “Ever since I really got into the Demo, I’ve entered the racing scene pretty hard. I can’t wait to fly the new tracks, to see what other game mechanics are added, and find out what other challenges there will be to keep things fresh.

Many also have mentioned that they are excited to continue using the game to practice toward potential DCL Draft selection.Alex concludes, “It was really cool to try how racing a DCL quad might feel. The added bonus of getting a chance to be selected by one of the teams played its role too!

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