Microsoft Excel esports championship airs on ESPN

An image of someone competing in Excel Esports.

An image of someone competing in Excel Esports.

When you tune into a dedicated sports channel, odds are you expect to see a stick or ball sport being played. Maybe some athletics or motorsports if those running things are feeling a bit unorthodox.

However, what your dad probably doesn’t anticipate seeing when he flicks over to ESPN2 is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Well, unfortunately for the armchair coaches and managers of the world, this is exactly what happened in America over the weekend, with the Financial Modelling World Cup taking up a mid-afternoon slot on the aforementioned channel.

Maths nerds everywhere rejoice as their sport of kings grabs the spotlight

This strange occurrence quickly became the subject of a Twitter thread by user @breedmylove, which has since gone viral, with many being surprised that this is a thing that exists.

It certainly is, though it hasn’t existed for very long, with the Financial Modelling World Cup having been founded in September 2020, consisting partially of ‘Excel Esports’, a championship that forgoes the financial focus to test the competitors' logical thinking skills and ability to slap together a spreadsheet.

The highlights that aired on ESPN2 were from the Excel Esports All-Star Battle, which featured some electrifying moments, including the reveal that one competitor had done some pre-work to give himself an advantage and the commentators going bananas over the use of an AI function.

Following three intense rounds of hardcore competition, the all-star battle saw Andrew Ngai, a director at Australian consulting firm Taylor Fry and winner of the 2021 Financial Modelling World Cup open tournament, take the victory.

In his post-win interview, Ngai said that he was “pretty tired”, before adding: “I was surprised to win that last one”, alluding to a pretty disastrous final round which might have cost him the win if he hadn’t built up a strong early lead.

Naturally, many Twitter users responding to the thread thought they had the Excel skills to take Ngai on, leading @breedmylove to reveal that you can sign up for the 2022 Financial Modelling World Cup open tournament, which will see players compete for a $10k prize.

Registering by the October 6 deadline and paying a $25 entry ticket fee will get you into the big dance.

So, start preparing to excel in Excel and make sure to follow us for more coverage of the wacky world of esports.

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