It may sound like a late April Fools joke but an esports tournament using Microsoft Excel is taking place and even has its own merchandise.
Esports is bigger than ever at the moment, in part thanks to the pandemic. Only recently Sega tried to get a piece of the action with its revived Virtua Fighter series but the newest challenger is something a bit different…
Microsoft already has a seat at the table with its Halo series and now another of its products will have its first ever esports tournament take place this week. But it’s not one of its Xbox or PC games. Rather it’s its Microsoft Excel and, no, that isn’t a joke.
Technically speaking, Excel itself isn’t the sport being played, but rather financial modelling, which is done using Excel. Titled the Financial Modelling World Cup – Multiplayer Battle, it will feature eight modellers from across the world duking it out.
As for what they actually need to do, the official website’s rules suggest ‘The participants will have 40 minutes to solve a case, prepared by the organising committee. The participants will be required to solve a business case through creating a financial model and answering several questions related to the model.’
At first, this sounds like some small-time independent thing, but the tournament is officially sponsored by Microsoft and is being livestreamed on YouTube. The website is even selling limited merchandise, specifically shirts, hats, and hoodies. As for the grand prize, there doesn’t seem to be one; it appears the only reward is bragging rights.
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