Is Drone Racing a Sport?

(Source: Drone Racing League)


Drone Racing is the Beginning of a New Era in Sports


Many people connect sports with physical activity that has to be done in order to achieve some result or goal. However, we in The Drones World believe that Drone Racing is the beginning of the new era of sports, called CyberSports. In the future, CyberSports will offer a wide range of possibilities and revolutionize the way we think, play and watch everything about sports.

Drone racing is one of the many sports that is connecting the cyber world with the real world. People with different ideas for the future are involved in making Drone Racing as real as possible. People are involved in many events for drone lovers: watching, learning, and even designing racing drones and competition grounds.

There are many reasons why drone racing is a sport. We share with you our oppenion about this topic, guided by the main influencing factors.

1. Drone Racing has a Large Audience


Just like any other sport, the audience is what shows the real interest and relevance about the question of whether or not drone racing is a sport.

Nowadays, thanks to the media, we are able to measure the level of interest in a certain topic. Many drone racing events were organized and even more are being planned. Almost all of the planned events have had a big media following, starting from their beginning.

One of the most famous organizers of events in the field is the Drone Racing League (DRL). DRL is the world’s only professional circuit in which some of the best drone pilots participate. Since their first event organized in Miami, they have organized events in different locations around the world.  This coming July 28th, they are organizing the semifinals of this years’ season at the BMW Welt in Munich, Germany. Their biggest and regular broadcaster is ESPN. According to ESPN, the interest in their first event reached up to 30 million viewers and 43 million on their digital content. DRL has announced their 8th and next big event will be taking place in Saudi Arabia.

Having on mind the audiences from diverse backgrounds and ages, drone racing is becoming interesting even for the big companies. Alliance, BMW, Swatch, Disney, Seagate and even the US Air Force are supporting the sport and the development of new technology conected with it.

2. Quad Racing Pilots


Drone racing as part of CyberSports will be covering a wider range of involved sites in the near future. Starting from professional players, players for hobby, the handicapped trying to break down the idea of traditional sports. The number of people racing with drones increases every year. We believe that this upcoming trend will be supported by the accesability to quads and the adventure that is offered.


(Source: The Verge)


It doesn’t take much to be a drone pilot, as we said above. The story from Ian Frazier from The New Yorker is witnessing this idea from first hand. The interview with Jordan Temkin and Zachery Thayer is presenting how two young people with no background in drone-racing are making living. Both of the pilots are earning six-figure contract. In the Drone Racing, they are known as jet and A_Nub and are competing on world known events. Temkin is even contracted by DRL and competing together with the top earners from the field.

DRL is uniting many pilots from all over the world to compete in their tournaments. Some of them like Ian and Frazier are making their own drones, but many others are using DRL drones. multi GPU is another place where drone racing pilots are part of. Trought MultiGP many pilots can join different racing events and have a real CyberSport experience.

3. Sport with high Accessibility to Wider Audiences


Not everyone is born to be a professional athlete in what we think of as traditional sports.  Some people simply enjoy participating and watching their sports while they are seated and relaxed, and due to handicap, others just simply aren’t able to participate in the otherwise physical sports industry.

However, everyone can be a drone racer. All you have to do is get your drone, your controller and VR Googles, and you’re good to sit down and start flying.

Drone Racing offers an alternative solution for people that are in favor of the static sports. Almost everyone can race in this game. The spectrum of people involved in the game varies from the youngest kids to the thriving millennial, all the way up to elderly people. The game of drone racing is changing the world of sports as we know it. Drone Racing offers opportunity for a vast spectrum of people to participate and compete.

4. Low Risk and Injuries


Sometimes, an injury for an athlete can mean the end of their career and their dreams. For the CyberSports players, this rule is different. A drone pilot’s biggest worry is the monumental shock when the drone crashes and the jokes that follow.


(Photo Credit: David Stock)


We compare Drone Racing with Formula 1 or like Moto GT race. In the existing racing sports, drivers control killing machines at speeds as high as 200 MPH, under huge pressure and very short reaction times. Being a Formula 1 driver sounds fun and full of adrenaline right? But looking at the number of casualties this sport has taken throughout the years you might think twice before you answer.

As mentioned above, drone pilots are using remote controllers with glasses to have the FTP experience. This option lowers the risk and the level of injuries for human lives and allows everyone to be more at ease. While you the pilots are safe, FTP offers an experience of high-speed adrenaline feeling.

5. Drone Racing as Cost Efficient Sport


Another plus to becoming a Drone Racing Pilot is the cost efficiency. These drones don’t need to have crazy technology implemented in them. Anyone with the basic knowledge of how to construct a small model can also build and fly a drone. Even the core idea for racing drones started with a group of people designing their own drones and racing them, just like the case of Temkin and Thayer. Parts are cheap and even 3d printable, easy to built and programme. In comparison with most of the sports which rely on machines, Drone Racing may be the cheapest.

We compared above racing drones with F1 from a driving experience point of view. Yes, racing drones are crashing more often than Formula 1 cars, but they are cheaper and easier to assemble.

Racers that are not into the racing drone design, buy their drones from companies that produce racing drones. DRL is famous for their racing drone RacerX. According to DRL, RacerX succeeded in crushing the Guinness World Record with average speeds of 165.2 MPH/265.87 kph with a fastest one-way top speed 179.78 mph. Some companies, like DJI for an example, has produced Racing edition goggles for users that like to enjoy speed more than taking nice pictures. The company Udirc with their Navigator U31R drone is offering users an extreme flying experience at high speed and a real environment view with HD real-time transmission.


Many others companies are competing but they are all united under one idea, cheaper and safer high-speed experience.


With all of this said above The Drones World is answering the question “If Drone Racing is a Sport?”. We believe that Drone Racing is the future of sports, but we believe even something else:


“Everyone can be a drone Racing Pilot. All it takes is your desire for adventure, and the imagination for unlimited freedom in the sky. Star wars is a movie, Drone Racing is reality.”  – The Drones World 



(Read More: Wired, New Yorker, The Verge)