College Drone Racing League Flies into Simulation Collection
With the spectatorless sports world navigating in limited, COVID-adapted game plans, the world of simulated drone racing is scratching the itch of enthusiastic fans worldwide.
Most recently, IUDRO (International Universities Drone Racing Organization) started an eSports platform for drones in collaboration with LuGus Studios, a Belgium-based software developer.
The Liftoff IUDRO series will house university students in a simulated drone gaming arena operated by LuGus’ Liftoff gaming brand. To date, more than 150,000 players have downloaded Liftoff via the Steam streaming service.
“We are very pleased to be entering the eSports scene with LuGus after weeks of designing and providing the software for the eSports series,” said Alejandro Perez-Llabata, CEO of IUDRO.
“For many years the FPV drone race has been blurring the line between traditional sport and eSport,” said Kevin Haelterman, CEO of LuGus Studios.
“In times of great social challenges, Liftoff helps to blur that line even further and to promote the transition from the field to a safe but equally exciting digital world. The same adrenaline rush and skills are guaranteed. “
The opening event, the International Open, starts September 26-27 and will be broadcast live on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. Further TBA events will follow.
The organizers say they will create a new track platform every two weeks. “Liftoff offers realistic drone physics recommended by the best drone pilots in the world and performing up to 300 physics calculations per second.”
Current teams are the University of Oxford, Pembroke College and Imperial College London. Interested university teams can still register for the series.
Liftoff is available on any Steam-enabled device with the unique code “UniversityDroneRacing” on the Betas tab.
IUDRO is joining a growing number of drone leagues switching to virtual arenas amid the pandemic. Earlier this year, the Drone Racing League wrapped up the 2020 FanDuel DRL SIM Racing Cup, which saw a dozen elite pilots compete in virtual replicas of high-speed racing drones from their homes around the world.
In March, DRL unveiled the DRL Academy, an innovative STEM program with online learning opportunities for students studying science, engineering, and unmanned aerial vehicle technology.