Viggo and the National team receiving their silver medal in the World Cup
© Viggo Koch
Drone Racing

Talks with a Drone racing World Cup silver medalist

A while ago we filmed a one-take drone video at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in Stockholm. Who flew the drone? Viggo Koch, a World Cup silver medalist.
Written by Joakim Henningson
4 min readPublished on
FPV (First-Person View) Drone racing has become immensely popular since its humble beginnings back in 2011. Back then, there were only amateur competitions to show off your skills in. It would take another five years before it even was to be considered a "real" sport. A sport which had professional competitions and international tournaments. Today, it's watched by hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe. New major events keep popping up every year and with the technology constantly being updated, the races become bigger, better and faster. It's safe to say that drone racing has a very bright future.
FPV Drone racing pilots are master flyers who can navigate in narrow corners, through tight spaces and quick turns. So, who better to film our one-take video of the Red Bull Gaming Sphere than a real drone pilot? And not just any drone pilot either, Swedish National and World Cup silver medalist Viggo Koch! We took the opportunity to chat with Viggo - here's his story.
Check out the one-take drone video of the Red Bull Gaming Sphere 🤩👇
Games · 1 min
One-take drone clip from Red Bull Gaming Sphere Stockholm
Hi Viggo! Drone Racing wasn't exactly a "household" sport when you began - how did it all start?
Everything started with when my brother got a DJI Phantom 1 [an early version of a drone] from his wife back in 2013. I got interested and started watching YouTube videos about drones. After watching a lot of videos, I decided to build a drone myself in 2014. My very first one. And it was bad, I mean really bad. So, I decided to build another one. Which was a little better. And then I just kept going. Building more and better drones.
Then my other brother, not the one who got the Phantom, decided to build drones as well. We began to race our drones in the backyard of our house, just for fun. As the years passed, we became better at both building the machines, and racing. And then, Drone Racing became a sport in 2016, the Swedish Drone Cup [Svenska Drönarkuppen] was held. Luckily for us, we’d been racing since 2014/15, so we were pretty damn good, constantly pushing each other to be better. When SDC, the Swedish Drone Cup began, we were ready. We quickly rose to the top of the league.
Planning the flight through Red Bull Gaming Sphere Stockholm
Planning the flight through Red Bull Gaming Sphere Stockholm
During the next couple of years, we were competing quite intensely, constantly getting better and better. Then in 2018, we were selected to be a part of the Swedish National Team and competed in the World Cup in China. We finished in second place, getting the silver medal, which was really cool. After having been racing so intensely, and achieving that level of success, my motivation vaned. My competitive days were almost over.
After the World Cup, I got more and more into filming. Discovering new things that I could do with my drones. So, I put on a Go Pro and started filming stuff. Soon after, I got the opportunity to film Helix, a rollercoaster at the amusement park Liseberg in Gothenburg. Which was really fun. I almost completely stopped racing and started filming instead. Eventually I started my own YouTube and Instagram channels.
Viggo working his magic
Viggo working his magic
When I started with drones, you had to build one yourself. You couldn’t buy a race drone. So yeah, I was one of the first real Swedish Drone racers.
Viggo Koch
Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes
What does the future hold for Drone Racing?
It’s growing. Immensely. Especially in the USA. Over there they have a televised league where the show the races live on ESPN, called DRL, or Drone Racing League. In the world of drone racing, the DRL is the most prestigious one. It’s not the World Cup, but it’s definitely the biggest and most popular in the world right now.
Do the racing drones differ in size in the various competitions?
At the World Cup and in the SDC, the drones we’re flying are pretty tiny and extremely fast. So, the audience usually can’t keep up at what’s happening. However, what the DRL’s done is to make the drones bigger and slower to make it more audience friendly. Also, the drones are packed with LED lights, each drone having its own color, to make it easier for the audience to know what’s going on. The drones are still very fast though, but less acrobatic than the ones that we’re flying at the World Cup.
Viggo's drone can fly less than a decimeter from objects
Viggo's drone can fly less than a decimeter from objects
What are you doing now?
Since 2019 I’ve been studying Industrial Design in Lund. And parallel with the studies, I’ve been filming various projects with my drones. Both external projects and videos for my YouTube and Instagram. When I graduate next year, I’ll be focusing more on filming. Preferably extreme sports!
Follow Viggo on his 👉 YouTube and Instagram 👈
Drone racing in action
Drone racing in action
Join in on the fun👇 and be a part of the Red Bull Gaming community!