Editor’s Note: With (this round) of the FMWC completed, the competition moves on to a grand final in Las Vegas this fall. Spoilers below for this round’s victors.
Excel nerds, it’s time to start boning up on your pivot tables! The Excel Financial Modeling World Cup is back, and this time it’s even more tense than before: every five minutes, the player with the least amount of points will be eliminated.
The latest iteration of the Excel World Championship takes place on “the Ocho” on Friday, bright and early at 7 am ET. The Ocho, aka ESPN8, is ESPN’s movie-inspired celebration of weird sports from around the world, with everything from Fierste Ljepper pole climbing to slamball to the championship of pillow fighting. But really, who wants to watch that when they can watch financial nerds virtually duke it out?
People stuck inside their homes during the 2020-2021 pandemic latched on to the viral trend that was the 2021 Excel World Cup, where hundreds of thousands tuned in to watch Andrew “NGOAT” Ngai defeat Michael Jarman. The format then allowed for competitors to go head-to-head in an elimination format, allowing each competitor 30 minutes to solve the problem while a team of Excel commentators (yes, there is such a thing) happily analyzed the gameplay. Think The Great British Bake Off meets spreadsheets, basically.
In 2023, there’s a new wrinkle — one that threatens to resort the columns, you might say. This time around, the Excel competition will boot out the competitor with the least amount of points every five minutes. Most accountants and financial analysts are used to thinking through a problem logically, setting it up, teasing it out over a period of time. Now, it’s like speed chess for spreadsheets!
Expect to see the Excel World Cup all-stars go head to head: Diarmuid Early, Andrew Ngai, Brittany Deaton, Michael Holmes, David Brown, Alana Reid, Isaac Lee, and Emilie Williams. Excel MVPs Leila Gharani, Oz du Soleil, and “Mr. Excel” Bill Jelen will have the call, which will be shown on ESPN as well as on YouTube.
Can’t wait? Neither can we. Even though the competition takes place tomorrow, there are already several people waiting in the YouTube stream. And who can blame them?
The competition played out fast and furious, as an elimination round for the eventual championship later this year. The contestants were asked several questions about a racetrack (constructed via Excel cells, naturally) and cars that raced around the track using random dice rolls to advance. The pressure tripped up at least one of the competitors, who didn’t have time to fix their mistake. The winners? Andrew Ngai, Brittany Deaton, and Diarmuid Early, who will advance.