World Excel Championships take live sports coverage by storm

Working on an Excel spreadsheet may make you break a sweat after all, as Yasmin Bodalbhai reports

The latest edition of the World Excel Championships got underway over the weekend.

It's a knockout tournament which pits the best Microsoft Office experts against each other to see who can solve problems in the fastest time, all whilst being live streamed on television.

Hosted by the Financial Modelling World Cup, this craze it the latest to take the esports world by storm.The Microsoft Excel portion of the competition is part of a larger tournament across all Microsoft Office platforms.

The tournament was shown live on ESPN2 in the USA, with many social media users marvelling at what was in front of them while they flicked through the channels.

The competition was presented with commentary, post-battle interviews and player profiles, just like any other sporting event.

The event was also livestreamed on YouTube and Twitch, with many viewers joining for the irony but staying after being entertained by the problem-solvers.

“If you’d told me 20 years ago that we would all be watching Excel competitions, I’d have thought you were crazy,” said Bill Jelen, one of the commentators, as the event was coming to a close.

“But 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.”

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