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Nurk ready to face 2019 Swatch DRL winner

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

On February 9th, the Swatch DRL Tryouts will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will be held at the ESports Arena in the Luxor Hotel.

The event will run from 1:30 pm local time through 9 pm local time.

DRL pilot Paul “Nurk” Nurkkala competing in the DRL event
Paul “Nurk” Nurkkala competing in the DRL event (Photo by the Drone Racing League)

“Over the last three years, DRL has hosted a simulator tournament,” DRL pilot Paul “Nurk” Nurkkala said. “In those last two years, those pilots have gone on to become professional drone racing pilots. Their lives have been transformed from someone, who hasn’t competed professionally, to full-time going out and practicing.

READ MORE: Click here for our latest Drone Racing League coverage

“At the Swatch DRL tournament in Vegas, the same process is happening again. But this time to a much bigger audience and potentially, we’ll have multiple pilots come in from the SIM tournament. Being able to witness these guys from never having competed professionally to competing professionally, it’s really cool to watch those guys transform. I got to go to the SIM tournament last year and watch a guy go from unknown to blowing up in our community and the rest of the world. It’s awesome to watch.”

The deadline to apply for the SIM Tournament is February 1st at 5 pm EST. On the DRL SIM, individuals can enter through the “tryouts” option.

The competitor must complete the course in less than nine minutes to be entered into the live ESport tournament. The winner or winners will receive a $75,000 contract to be an official Swatch pilot in 2019.

“The DRL SIM, which is available through Steam, is one-to-one real-life drone racing that has the same physics and characteristics; the way it flies is the same it flies in real life,” Nurkkala said. “The simulator is exactly what it is, it’s a simulated race with drones that act exactly like drones do that I race. What you can expect is the best competitors in their division battling it out hardcore for a life-changing opportunity.

“Those guys have all been practicing for months and months. Some of my closest friends are competing in this tournament, and I have watched how hard they have competed to get where they are. We’ve been hosting on the DRL Twitch channel weekly races that we call ‘Race to Vegas’ and we’ve been given away trips to Vegas for free, along with Swatches. And the races that are happening there are second-to-none. You can watch five guys finish close together. They’re screaming and yelling, competing to the end. It’s awesome to watch. If you haven’t seen SIM before, it’s racing at it’s highest level. And it’s fun to watch.”

This will be the biggest First-Person View Party of all-time. There is free admission to all and no RSVP is required.

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Nurk will be one of several DRL pilots in attendance. Besides Nurk, Jet, Gab, Nubb, and Jawz will be there.

Influential drone racers including Mr. Steele, Trappy, Le Drib, Ummagawd, Jesse Perkins, and pilots from MultiGP will be there as well.

“Within any sport, especially if you’re looking on from the outside and you don’t know why something is important or exciting, until somebody tells you,” he said. “If I go hang out at a basketball game and I don’t know about basketball, like the No. 1 person, that’s what gets you intrigued and excited.

“I can tell you without a doubt, who will be attending this party, whether they are competing or spectating, they will see people among the best in the world. You get the opportunity to see these guys, and hang out with them, while also learning from them. Hopefully, it’ll kick start your interest in this sport or hobby.”

The winner will have their lives transformed from this opportunity.

“The biggest opportunity to become a DRL Allianz pilot is through the Swatch tournament on the DRL SIM,” Nurk said. “Apply by Feb. 1st. This is the biggest opportunity to get you there. It’s fully in your control as you can grind and practice and do everything good, then come to the tournament and compete against all these other guys. They are competing for a spot on the show. If they make it, they have to choose to be professional. And there’s more to it than just flying fast. It’s how you take care of yourself and believe in yourself, while becoming a competitor to the core. I want to see that drive and personality to be there. It’s just that important.”

The DRL Simulator can be downloaded here.

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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