World Excel Championship: eSport competition going viral, ESPN, video

The most brilliant and bizarre competition under the sun is gaining worldwide attention and even being broadcast on a national channel in America.

Nowadays there’s competitions for basically everything, but this one surely takes the cake for the weirdest and nerdiest.

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Believe it or not, there exists a World Championship of Microsoft Excel. Yes you read that correctly, Microsoft Excel – the program that more often than not leaves us all frustrated – has a world championship competition.

Set up by the Financial Modeling World Cup, the event has been running for several years now. But this year’s event finally hit the jackpot and was broadcast on a national stage.

ESPN, the biggest sporting platform in the world, showcased the competition across America and it had fans watching on in awe.

In 2022 the competition decided to pit the best of the best against one another. Past winners, runners-up and ranked competitors battled it out with their VLOOKUP skills at the ready.

Yes you also read that correctly, there is world rankings for excel.

The competition comprised of: Joseph Lau (2020 winner), Diarmuid Early (2021 winner), Anup Agarwal (2021 runner-up), Andrew Ngai (world #3), Michael Jarman (world #4), Gabriela Strój (world #16 and the top-ranked woman), David Brown (world #18) and Jeff Heng Siang Tan (#4 in 2021).

Each competition is a gruelling 30 minutes where competitors are forced to answer and solve 14 questions relating to financial problems.

If you’re not sold, here’s some more evidence for you eyeballs.

The commentators are at their metaphor driven best throughout the competing time, even comparing those engaging in the event to soldiers and the one with the best knife will be the winner.

“The contestants that clean their metal first, they wind up with good knives in the end, and the ones that don’t, they get up ahead of time but then they wind with a cracked blade or something,” one commentator says.

The initial competition, held in 2020, was won by Australian Joseph Lau while American Diarmuid Early took out the 2021 event.

Lau is the current Director of Sustainable Finance for the Commonwealth Bank.

Think you’ve got the excel skills to become a world champ? The next FMWC Open takes place in October.

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