Zoomas outlasts his competition, and a catering cart, to emerge as the Drone Racing League (DRL) champion for the DRL finals, Level 1 in Miami.
Episode 3, the Level 1 DRL finals, premiered Monday on the DRL Twitch stream. The large Twitch audience of over 1,000 was first caught up with full episodes of the previous qualifying and semi-final races. Judging from the chat, few users had ever seen drone racing before. As one user put it, “THIS IS SO INSANE”.
During the recap, some users identified Zoomas early on as the pilot to beat. Some commenters also identified him as Jonah Hill.
Rekrek became a favorite for his dominance on the leaderboard, and his name. “REKT REKT” quickly became a popular chant every time a pilot crashed. Especially when Rekrek crashed.
Meanwhile, FlyingBear found an upswell of support as the underdog. User Sadiction declared, “FlyingBear is the main character of this anime.”
In the finals of Level 1: Miami Lights, two crowd favorites placed on the podium and one was left in the cold.
The Rekrek chant found a lot of use. In all three heats Rekrek succumbed to his nerves and wasn’t able to finish. He’ll walk away from Level 1 with 4 points for the DRL 2016 season.
Rekrek FPV Feed – Heat 2
The underdog, FlyingBear, found out this wasn’t a feel-good movie. With careful flying he was able to finish the second heat and put enough points on the board for third place. Watching FlyingBear’s FPV feed you can see how he’s taking his time to correct his approaches on the gates and through the tunnels.
Third place tonight was enough for champagne on the podium and 6 points in the DRL 2016 season.
FlyingBear FPV Feed – Heat 1
M0ke pulled out his playbook and tried a new strategy. In past races M0ke pushed hard every heat. This gave him a good race time or it pushed him straight into an obstacle. For the finals, M0ke kept the aggressiveness to a minimum. Like FlyingBear, he took his time to keep his lines clean and the shift in strategy paid off. M0ke’s FPV feed in the last heat showed how important it is to keep your drone steady.
Second place earned him 10 points in the DRL 2016 season.
M0ke FPV Feed – Heat 3
Zoomas had a, literally, unstoppable night. In the first heat of the night Zoomas crashed straight into a catering cart on his way to the helix. The smoke blocked his vision and almost ended his run. Miraculously, Zoomas’ props were undamaged. He was able to get his drone back into the race before losing his early start and finished well ahead of the competition. Zoomas continued his domination in the second and third heats. He even had time to end his heat 3 coronation lap with a 360 degree spin to cross the finish line.
First place in Level 1 earned Zoomas 10 points in the DRL 2016 season.
Zoomas FPV Feed – Heat 3
Pilots who have gained points from Level 1 will move on to Level 2 – L.A.Pocalypse, which will take place in Los Angeles, California. They’ll be joined by a group of new pilots who are still unidentified. No one is slacking off between the Levels. FlyingBear shared his thoughts.
I’m really looking forward to the level 2 competition in Los Angeles. Zoomas is going down! He’s a great competitor, friend, and fellow Shendrones team pilot. We’re both practicing hard and also competing against each other today in the World Drone Prix! I’ve also been racing in tight spaces with the DRL Racer to prepare for the indoor environment for DRL Level 2. It’s difficult to find buildings to setup indoor tracks and I think that type of practice will give me an advantage over the competition.
Videos from Level 2 will be released in 4 weeks.