Microsoft is sponsoring an esports competition with prizes totaling $ 10,000. The game? Well, it’s not exactly a game – it’s Microsoft Excel.

Each year, the main users of Microsoft Excel (players?) from around the world compete in the Financial Modeling World Cup (FMWC) (via PC World). The qualifying rounds have already taken place, leaving just eight Excel Masters to compete for the FMWC crown. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final tournament all take place today at 12 p.m. ET via a YouTube live stream and the ESPN app.

According to FMWC rules, competitors are presented with a one to five page case study in each lap. The case studies contain real-world problems, as well as six to 15 questions of varying complexity – the more complex a question, the more points the player awards.

Participants will of course need to use their financial modeling skills to determine the answer to each question. The case examples on the FMWC site can give you an overview of the types of issues these Excel professionals need to solve, some of them they may encounter in a typical workday, and others. , called “freestyle”, might have a more unusual subject. matter.

And if you never thought you would feel energized by an Excel tournament, think again. Surprisingly, watching a live broadcast from the FMWC is just as exciting as watching your typical esport event, complete with advertisers, live commentary and a scoreboard. It even has a parenthesis system to track the progress of the competition, as well as a ranking system – done appropriately with an Excel spreadsheet – with Diarmuid Early from New York at the top of the world rankings, followed by Anup Agarwal from India, and Andrew Ngai from England.

The FMWC isn’t the only competition of its kind either: the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship covers the entire Office suite, including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, and challenges students to become the ‘Microsoft Champion’. .