What is the Excel World Championship? Plus how to watch your new favourite ‘sport’

 (YouTube/ Excel Esports)
(YouTube/ Excel Esports)

What is your favourite thing about work? Is it the coffee breaks, Karen microwaving last night’s fish, or, is it Microsoft Excel spreadsheets?

If it’s the latter, then we have just the thing for you.

Over the weekend, ESPN broadcast a replay of a recent esports event, that saw the world’s most advanced Microsoft Excel users go head-to-head in a knockout tournament.

Yep, you read that correctly.

Organised by the Financial Modelling World Cup, the Excel ‘All-Star Battle’ took place in May, and it featured eight competitors who all attempted a series of spreadsheet-based challenges until eventually a champion was crowned.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Microsoft Excel world championships.

What is the Microsft Excel world championship?

Over three rounds, the eight competitors were given tasks to accomplish on their spreadsheets, with a 30-minute time limit.

Half the contestants were eliminated in each round.

Each round is a “case study” problem, involving a different game. In round one, the competitors are challenged to create a slot-machine game with eight different symbols and a complicated point scoring system.

Round two featured a yacht regatta game with a complex wind-speed and directional simulation, and round three was a platformer with six different levels.

Commentary is provided by Bill Jelen, author of over 40 Excel books, and Oz Du Soleil, who has co-authored a number of Excel books and runs the Excel On Fire YouTube channel.

If you feel like you’ve got the requisite skills, you can sign up for the championships on this link.

The top 128 competitors will be selected in October, with the finals happening on November 12.

The prize last year was $10,000, and you can watch the 2021 spreadsheet showdown on YouTube.

How can I watch the Microsoft Excel World Championship?

ESPN has a long-standing reputation for embracing non-traditional sporting events, including esports.

The network launched its coverage back in 2015, before becoming the first to broadcast an esports event in a prime time slot three years later.