The historic amphitheatre of AlUla played host to a mesmerising spectacle as the Drone Champions League (DCL) Super Final drew the 2023 season to a close. With an impressive show of skill from 16 of the best drone pilots in the world, it was British team XBlades Racing, led by captain MinChan Kim, that came out on top to win.
The Super Final, Organised by Royal Commission for AlUla and DCL in collaboration with strategic partners Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones and the Saudi E-Sports Federation, saw the best four teams over the DCL season come together in a series of intense 2v2 and 4v4 races, featuring pilots from nine countries across the world, including USA, Australia, France, Japan and South Korea. The event combined both physical and virtual elements, with the pilots competing on-stage together and racing virtually.
In keeping with AlUla’s stunning landscape, the amphitheatre in the Old Town provided the ultimate setting for the Super Final, with a giant screen showing the action to onlookers. The event also saw the DCL announce their Pilot of the Year 2023, which was awarded to Quad Force One captain Silas Aaron.
With a focus on testing the possibilities of technological innovation, and not only delivering for elite pilots but also the grassroots, the course competed by the pilots in the Super Final will soon be available for all players of ‘DCL: The Game’, available on PlayStation, Xbox, Mac and PC.
Reflecting on the event, Markus Stampfer, Chairman of the DCL Board, said, “The Super Final is the ultimate race in the DCL’s season, and the entertainment and setting was absolutely fitting for such an occasion. This was the first Super Final ever held in a GCC country, and we are excited to see the passion for drone racing in this region. We are particularly grateful to the support of AlUla in making this event everything it could be, and really look forward to using this as a platform for even bigger, better races into the future. We’re so excited about the DCL’s future. This is just the beginning.”
Rami AlMoallim, Vice President of Destination Management and Marketing at the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), added, “We are a very ambitious destination, and hosting international e-sports events, such as the DCL Super Final, is an important milestone for us in our future objectives and vision. AlUla is a truly historical location, with more than 7,000 years of history. With the DCL Super Final, and the highest level of innovation and technology in e-sport and the local community engagement, we continue to demonstrate that AlUla will also be a key hub of innovation in the future.”
Winning captain MinChan Kim commented: “Winning the DCL Super Final is a huge achievement, for me personally and for the team. We’ve worked so hard throughout the season to continue to get better, and to win it together in such a beautiful area makes it all worthwhile. We’re very thankful to the organisers and AlUla for delivering such a great event, and we very much hope to be back again soon.”
The Drone Champions League Super Final 2023 marks the inaugural event from the world of E-Sports and drone racing sports to be introduced into the AlUla Moments Calendar of events and festivals.
To watch a repeat of the Super Final, please visit the DCL’s Twitch account, available here.