2022 Recap: The closest championship in DCL history


With returning stars challenged by incredible rookies, a grudge match between two championship-winning teams, and the addition of a new location, the virtual season featured more twists, and turns than a Drone Grand Prix track. Here’s what happened, what’s going on now… and a hint of what’s to come.

Right from the 2022 opener at Vaduz in April, the story of the virtual season was the struggle between defending champs Raiden Racing of Japan and the legendary team they dethroned in 2021, XBlades Racing of the UK. Across the subsequent stops – Laax, Reutte, and Lake Zurich – they squared off in every final, trading wins at two each. The rivals were deadlocked at 900 points each as they headed into the season climax at the stunning new venue of Norway’s Stavanger Region. (Here’s a shoutout to all the 2022 locations.)

In the opening Round Robin matchups, XBlades dominated all comers, while Raiden appeared to falter, just squeaking into the final. But there the Japanese team found a new gear, and the decision came down to the last Big Heat, where Raiden clinched their repeat title in the breathless final seconds.  

Meanwhile, the USA’s Quad Force One continued their streak of finishing third on the overall podium in every one of their DCL seasons. Rivals take note: The Americans have recruited some great young talent, and much-missed standout Headsup FPV is about to return, so they’re clearly aiming higher for 2023.
 

Season highlights
One of the most satisfying things about the season was that all the teams gave their fans great moments to cheer about. Among them, Spain’s SDT Perpetuumcoin grew throughout the season, making two Small Finals to finish on a high with third place in Stavanger. China Dragons also made two Small Finals, capturing their own third place in Reutte. 

When it came to individual pilots, congrats go out to the XBlades’ seasoned contender DarKex, whose consistent brilliance delivered his first Pilot of the Year honour. 

Rookies flew to new heights as well. In the World Championship, the XBlades’ Yayou was named Rookie of the Year after an astounding season that he capped off by laying down the fastest lap on both Norwegian tracks. The Women’s Cup was rocked by newcomers too, particularly Oatie FPV of Quad Force One, and 10-year-old phenom DuoNa of the China Dragons. 

 

Wild Women’s Cup
After a first edition in 2021 where Raiden pilot Silent took a commanding lead and never let it go, this season saw the competition intensify. XBlades’ LeoOnFire was back to heat things up, while SDT’s Leslie C surged strongly, and Quad Force One had a one-two punch in Roo FPV and Oatie FPV. But it was the fearless flying of the China Dragons’ newbie DuoNa that pushed Silent to the limit, taking the title battle right up to Norway. There, Silent would not be denied, winning seven of the 10 races to retain the crown, with DuoNa in second overall, and LeoOnFire rounding out the podium in third. 

 

Coming attractions 

News about the 2023 Race Series is coming soon, so stay in touch. 

One way to do that: Our show What the Kwad?! continues year-round with interviews of pilots, team managers, and DCL staff about all things drone (and the occasional random tangent). It’s live on Twitch, where you can follow us to catch every episode. 

 

It’s your turn to win – now!
The World Championship is a wrap for another year, but the racing continues, and you can be part of it. DCL – The Game gives everyone the chance to become a drone racing pro, and the DCL22 Autumn Trials are on right now. The Trials are not only a fantastic way to improve your skills, but the top pilots and teams will win real-life prizes courtesy of Torvol.

Get in on the action here: https://dcl.aero/game/download/
 

And finally, for a different way to snag some swag, we also post challenges on our social channels. Be sure to follow us so you don’t miss out. See you there!