Esports are popular because it’s exciting to see those who are the best at using one piece of software compete to be the best of the best. While that’s usually confined to gaming, it doesn’t have to be, as Microsoft is looking to prove with its Excel World Championships.
Millions of people around the world make use of Microsoft’s Excel on a daily basis, and among these there certainly must be some unsung experts, who know more of the advanced functions, people are used to working with larger spreadsheets and there are some who are just faster at using it than anyone else.
Microsoft is looking to identify these uncrowned champions with its Excel World Championships. Taking place between October and early 2017, Microsoft will run four rounds of Excel tests for residents of a number of countries, with the winners of each passing through to the next round. The champions of each nation will then face off against one another for the world title, with the chance to win a trip to Seattle, to meet with Excel Product Leads and ultimately give feedback on the software for future versions and features.
The countries and grouping are a little surprising, since the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany — and many other countries in fact — are all lumped together into the “All Other Countries” international contest. That’s a huge pool of people to go up against.
In contrast, countries like Belgium, Canada, China, Turkey, Finland and Japan (among others) each have their own individual contests, and will only be competing against their fellow countrymen and women in the first round.
Microsoft hasn’t been specific about what the rounds will consist of as of yet, but the first date which will “test your skills to see if you have what it takes,” will fall somewhere between October 3 and 9. Further contests will follow in the weeks after, with full details available on the official page.
We’re also told that there will be categories such as data relays, where you’ll be accessing, structuring and manipulating data; chart gymnastics, which will involve visually representing data to best tell a story; and formula wrestling, which will have you dynamically solving questions even as the data changes.
Are any of our DT readers particular whizzes with Excel? There will be some stiff competition, but let us know if you make it through the first rounds.