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Drone Racing Enters the Metaverse

Last Updated: January 6, 2022
The Drone Racing League and Playground Labs are taking their talents to Web3, bringing together the worlds of gaming and blockchain technology.

The Drone Racing League and Playground Labs, a play-to-earn (P2E) gaming affiliate of crypto investment fund Hivemind Capital Partners, have announced a partnership that will extend the DRL’s races into the metaverse. 

“We’re excited to unveil Playground Labs to build the infrastructure of the metaverse economy and to enable everyone to earn real economic utility by playing the games they love,” said Playground Labs CEO Sam Peurifoy in an official release. “The Drone Racing League is  the most innovative, inclusive, and high-tech sport, and DRL is made for the metaverse and the future  global economy, where P2E games will create community, economic sustainability, and authentic engagement for participants around the world.”

The first competition will take place on the Algorand blockchain platform. Drone racers will compete for cryptocurrency and NFTs which will then transfer their winnings from the digital sphere to reality. In September 2021, the DRL and Algorand struck a five-year, $100 million deal where the two companies will collaborate to introduce crypto-powered ticketing, fan transactions, and collectibles.

“As a technology-powered sport, DRL continues to authentically innovate and create real use-cases on  Alogrand’s fast, scalable, and decentralized blockchain platform. We’re excited to create a new, thrilling digital drone racing game with DRL and Playground Labs that will enable fans everywhere to own and monetize their drone racing experiences,” said Algorand COO W. Sean Ford. 

According to the DRL, gaming, cryptocurrency and drone markets are worth over $2 trillion combined. Before this announcement, the DRL has been linking the digital and the real world through things like its DRL SIM Tryouts esports tournament on the DRL simulator. 

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“Our millions of fans love crypto, fintech, and gaming, and we’re thrilled to partner with Playground Labs to  create our first play-to-earn drone racing game on Algorand’s blockchain. Together, we will accelerate DRL  as the first omnichannel sports league, enabling our pilots and fans to race drones across the physical, the  virtual, and the metaverse, which will be paramount for all leagues moving forward,” said DRL President  Rachel Jacobson. 

The DRL-Playground Labs news comes as the world of drone racing celebrates the 2021-22 DRL Algorand World Championship Season finale Wednesday night at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Looking ahead, the DRL Vegas Championship Race will air on Saturday, Feb. 5 and Sunday,  Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. EST on NBC and Twitter. 

About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a Staff Writer covering sports business and music for Boardroom. Before joining the team, he previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features he has written include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" - Hampton University - is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.