Want to become an esports pro, but you’re not quite good enough for Overwatch or League of Legends? Then perhaps you might want to try your hand at Microsoft Office esports.
The collage features six champions from the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship, where people compete to see who is the most efficient, I guess, in Excel, Powerpoint and Word.
The competition is designed to test students’ skills across the 2013 and 2016 versions of the applications, with students qualifying through a set of regional qualifiers before playing at the final event earlier this month in Anaheim.
It doesn’t feature the largest prize pool in history – $7000 for winning isn’t exactly on the same level as, say, Dota 2‘s The International – but skills in Excel and Word probably translate across careers a lot more than lane control.
To take part in the championships, contestants have to take a Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam. Costs for those vary depending on the centre running the exam, and there’s a different levels for each of the applications. The best scores from each country are then collated, with users invited to take part in regional finals, where the winners go through to the world finals.
It’s only open for people aged between 13 and 22, which explains the young-ish nature of the winners above. No Australians made the podium for any of the events, incidentally, although Australia didn’t have a regional qualifier of its own which always makes things substantially tougher. (Turkey, Malaysia, South Africa, and Belgium had their own events, mind you.)
One of the winners was 17-year-old American John Dumolulin, who became the first American to win either of the Excel competitions. He also told the New York Post just how seriously the competition was:
Some of the foreign countries, they’ve been training for hours and hours and hours on end … when you first meet the international students, everyone’s friendly, but when they find out you’re competing against them in the same category, they get this fire in their eyes. They want to win.
I mean, makes sense.
Nobody wants to hear about the bloke who came second at the Excel World Championships, do they?