The Drone Racing League (DRL), the world’s premier drone racing circuit, today announced Christopher “Phluxy” Spangler as the winner of the 2019 Swatch DRL Tryouts, the only Esports competition that transforms a gamer into a professional drone pilot overnight.
The intense drone competition was hosted at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas on Saturday, February 9, and brought out hundreds of contenders.
Since October 1, thousands of pilot hopefuls from 65 countries around the world have been battling it online on the DRL Simulator, a true-to-life drone racing simulator that helps players fly FPV (First Person View) better in real life. During the biggest FPV party of all time this past Saturday, the top 210 contestants went head-to-head in a live Esports showdown. After an intense Round Robin, the fastest 24 players challenged each other during the Quarter Finals, 12 of whom made it to the nail-biting semi-finals, aiming to secure a spot in the fiercely competitive six-player finals. Earning the most points while racing over a city bridge in the final heats of a Swatch map, Phluxy, a 28-year-old gamer from Bloomington, Minn., was named the Swatch pilot for the 2019 DRL Allianz World Championship Season and given a professional drone racing contract for $75,000. Millions of fans will watch him race in DRL on premier sports networks in more than 90 countries later this year.
“I’m stoked to have been named the 2019 Swatch Pilot. It feels really surreal and I’m super happy to be able to fly in the 2019 DRL Allianz World Championship Season. Last year at the 2018 Swatch DRL Tryouts, I got fourth. Over the past year, I changed my mindset and the way I trained, putting in a minimum of three hours of practice on the DRL Simulator every day. It really paid off,” said Swatch Pilot Phluxy.
“We’re incredibly excited to welcome DRL’s newest Swatch Pilot, Phuxy, who went from player to pro overnight,” said DRL CEO and Founder Nicholas Horbaczewski. “Taking place on DRL’s hyper-realistic drone racing sim, the Swatch DRL Tryouts is the only Esport in the world that translates into real sports, further blending the digital and the real of the sport of the future.”