The Week (US)

A workout you can do at your desk

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Spreadshee­t jockeys got to test their skills in a Microsoft Excel tournament, said Steven Wright in GameSpot .com. “When you think Microsoft and e-sports, you probably think of Halo’s fraught gunfights, not Microsoft Office spreadshee­ts.” But last week Microsoft announced that its gaming platform, Smash.gg, was hosting an exhibition pitting “top financial modelers against each other in head-to-head competitio­n.” Eight spreadshee­t experts from eight different countries used “Excel’s capabiliti­es to solve complex problems” in 40 minutes. The grand prize: $5,000. Competitiv­e events featuring quotidian office-management systems aren’t totally new. The Financial Modeling World Cup has a global ranking system and a grand prize of $20,000. Microsoft has another event, the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championsh­ip, that tests skills on Office, Excel, and PowerPoint every year.

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