Qualifying for the DRL isn't as easy as it seems, however. It only accepted 16 pilots this season. Pilots mostly hail from North America and Europe, but Asian countries are starting to pick up the sport, Horbaczewski said. He noted that Japan, China and Korea have more restrictive rules against flying drones, which he thinks has limited the growth of professional pilots.
In addition, pilots are only allowed to fly DRL's drones, which lack stabilization technology, hover abilities and other things that make it easier to fly them. However, taking out those features also makes DRL's version faster and more agile than traditional models on the market. DRL drones are not available for public purchase, although the league is releasing a toy version later this year.
"Remote controlled planes are toys and have always been, where drones are a part of massive industry," Horbaczewski said. "The level of innovation has been amazing."