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Microsoft Excel Championships

The World Excel Championship: Is Microsoft Excel the next esport?

Sounds crazy, but hear us out.

Last weekend, ESPN broadcasted a replay of a very unique sports event that, safe to say, many of us probably would never think we would see on ESPN. It was the Excel Esports: All-Star Battle.

We didn’t know that excel was considered an esport, let alone that there were all-stars. But apparently, it is a real thing.

And thanks to ESPN, the tournament is starting to gain attention worldwide. Now everyone wants to know what’s up (including us).

The World Excel Championships

The rumors are true. The World Excel Championships is in fact a real thing.

The championship is hosted by The Financial Modeling World Cup. They organized the Excel All-Star Battle, where excel experts competed against one another in a series of spreadsheet-based challenges. Streamed live on television, the competitors had to solve problems in the fastest time to win.

Though the premise itself may sound mundane (how many of us use Excel at work?), once you start watching, it’s hard to stop. That’s because of how unexpectedly entertaining it actually is.

If you use Excel, you know that it’s a very complex software that can take a long time to master—just like any other sport.

“It’s actually fascinating to watch these people come up with different ways to solve problems – and solve them really quickly. And these same formulas and logic could be used to solve everyday business problems,” Bill Jelen, one of the commentators, said during the event.

And its broadcast was just like any other sporting event, too.

Commentators and announcers who were overseeing and explaining the game to the viewers were one of the most entertaining parts of the entire event. Without them, we probably wouldn’t know what we were watching.

With the live commentary, the interviews, and the analysis of the games, Excel is now at par with most other esports in these respects.

Become the next excel champion (and make some cash)

The World Excel Championships started back in September 2020, making this the third edition of the tournament. And while just about anyone can sign up to compete, only eight contestants competed in the tournament last May.

But yes, you read that right: just about anyone can sign up.

On The Financial Modeling World Cup’s website page for the tournament, they stress that no previous knowledge in finance, engineering, or data analytics is required. The games will simply be testing Excel and logical thinking skills.

Plus, let’s not forget about the $10,000 prize fund.

If your boss has been hounding you to improve your spreadsheet skills, why not do it for some money, right?