The World Excel Championship Is Being Broadcast On ESPN
— 11 August 2022

The World Excel Championship Is Being Broadcast On ESPN

— 11 August 2022
Garry Lu
WORDS BY
Garry Lu

While the F1 enjoys its summer break, another high-stakes sport involving different kinds of formulas has taken the internet by storm: the World Excel Championships.

Organised by the Financial Modelling World Cup, a replay of the All-Star Battle stage – which actually took place back in May – was recently broadcast by both ESPN and Sky Atlantic, complete with scorecards, a panel of commentators, and running game analysis.

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“The contestants that clean their metal first, they wind up with good knives in the end,” noted one such commentator who was earning the hell out of that paycheque.

“And the ones that don’t, they get up ahead of time but then they wind with a cracked blade or something.”

The event saw a total of eight elite modellers all vying to prove their supreme mastery of the iconic Microsoft software by solving complex financial problems: 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 & top-ranked woman), David Brown (world #18), as well as Jeff Heng Siang Tan (former #4).

While this side competition has only now gained mainstream attention, the Financial Modelling World Cup has been active for several years.

Established back in September of 2020 – as mentioned above – the first legendary mind to hoist a trophy, pocket $25,000 in prize money, and earn the world title was none other than Australian desk athlete / Commonwealth Bank Director of Sustainable Finance Joseph Lau. During the 2021 season, however, it was won by America’s Diarmuid Early.

There’s cutthroat, then there’s Excel cutthroat. Because as you and I know, the spreadsheet isn’t forgiving.

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“If you’d told me 20 years ago that we would all be watching Excel competitions, I’d have thought you were crazy,” said commentator Bill Jelen during the All-Star Battle’s close, echoing just about everyone’s sentiments.

“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.”

For those of you who missed this epic showcase of wits — fear not. You can check out another replay of the World Excel Championships via YouTube below.

Garry Lu
WORDS by
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]

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