Ross RSVP Helps ESL and Drone Champions League (DCL) Deliver Drone Racing Virtually

The ongoing pandemic has affected sports and live events everywhere, and esports has also had to adapt. The international esports company ESL recently worked with partners Drone Champions League (DCL) to convert a planned series of in-person league events to an entirely virtual format, with both competitors and talent located remotely. To help support and deliver the event, Rocket Surgery Virtual Productions (RSVP), Ross Video’s dedicated virtual productions division, was challenged to convert the physical in-venue DCL world into an eye-catching virtual studio set to be used throughout the broadcast.



Voyager, the latest graphics rendering solution from Ross, and the Ross UX virtual solutions control software gave ESL the ability to show as many as six live inputs in the virtual set at any time. ESL also chose the XPression graphics platform for scoreboard/character generation, and the Ross DashBoard platform for full system control.

The main production hub was located at ESL’s facility in Katowice, Poland, and RSVP supported the two-day event via home offices in the USA. The RSVP team was able to remotely configure the Voyager systems, build virtual Trackless Camera moves, refine talent keyers and even design the Streamdeck layout for the Technical Director in Poland to trigger. The end result was a series of seamless transitions from the drone races to the on-set talent without ever leaving the game world.

“Rocket Surgery, Ross Creative & Professional Services, is very excited to be partnering with ESL and the Drone Champions League to produce these landmark virtual events,” said Jim Doyle, Director of Creative Services for Ross Video. “Leveraging the expertise of Simon’s team at ESL has been an exciting partnership. We’ve worked together to harness the power of Voyager, which is based on the Unreal engine from Epic Games, and Voyager enables us to offer the most dynamic virtual production solutions available in the world today.”

“We are honored to be working with such professional partners to ensure our 2020 racing season goes ahead, albeit virtually. Each environment in DCL – The Game takes up to 2,000 hours to build and Ross RSVP has created a virtual studio set that works seamlessly with these environments and our racetracks. We’re engaging with our fans in a way we never have before,” said Mike Hoehsl, CEO of DCL.

Next up, the DCL season continues in a bespoke virtual world at the Virtual Drone Grand Prix in Proptown, USA. Follow the action on Saturday and Sunday, 8-9 August, at 14:00 UTC, on

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Ross Video – High Impact, High Efficiency Production Solutions

Ross powers live video productions for billions of global viewers daily with the industry’s widest range of high impact, high efficiency solutions and services. Ross makes it easy to create compelling news, weather and sports broadcasts, engaging content for sports stadium screens, entertainment shows and rock concerts, educational institutionslegislative assembliescorporate presentations and inspiring content for houses of worship.

Ross solutions have impressed the audiences and marketing partners of Eurosport, BBC World, SKY, Google YouTube Space London, and the international esports powerhouse ESL. Ross provides an unrivalled range of products and services that includes cameras, real-time motion graphics, production switchers, robotic camera systems, augmented reality/virtual studios, video servers, infrastructure and routers, social media management, newsroom systems and live event production services.

About ESL

ESL is the world’s largest esports company. Founded in 2000, ESL has been shaping the industry across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline esports competitions. The company operates high profile, branded international leagues and tournaments under the ESL Pro Tour including ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL Pro League, and other premier stadium-size tournaments, to more clearly define the path from zero to hero. ESL also produces the ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups, and matchmaking systems, creating a world where everybody can be somebody. With offices all over the world, ESL is leading esports innovation on a global scale through the combination of global ESL competitions, amateur leagues, publisher activations, and more. ESL is a part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group.


About DCL

The Drone Champions League (DCL) is the World Championship for professional drone racing teams: an innovative race series that blurs the lines between virtual and reality. Since 2016, DCL has drawn the world’s best drone pilots, who qualify for each Drone Grand Prix in DCL – The Game and then go on to compete on international teams in spectacular real-life settings, from global capitals to surreal natural wonders. An annual draft selection opens the door to any DCL – The Game player to be recruited into a pro team.

The LED-lit racing drones dart through the custom tracks head-to-head, reaching speeds of more than 160 km/h as the pilots fly them using virtual reality goggles. First to the finish wins, and margins are breathtakingly tight. Each DCL race is broadcast live, worldwide on TV and online. In 2020, DCL takes the season to the virtual world, recreating famous cities, and imagining fantastic new ones, inside DCL – The Game.

DCL partners include Breitling, myWorld, IQONIQ and TeamSpeak. For more information:

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