COMPETITION RULES

Microsoft Excel World Championship 2024 Rules (hereinafter referred to as the “Rules”) are effective from January 1, 2024. All previous rules are canceled, null and void.
 
Please read these Competition Rules carefully. You should review all our legal documents before participating in any Competition. If you do not accept these Rules or any of our legal documents, do not use the Website or participate in any Competition.

 

1. The Event

    • Microsoft Excel World Championship 2024 (hereinafter – MEWC 2024) is an esports tournament that is based in Microsoft Excel. The tournament has a series of Qualification Rounds followed by Online Playoff Rounds, followed by the Live finals in Las Vegas.
    • The Event is organized by the Financial Modeling World Cup team (hereinafter – FMWC).
    • Microsoft Corporation is supporting the Event, allowing the organizers, among other means of support, to use the name of Microsoft Excel in the competition name.

2. The Participants

    • MEWC 2024 is open to any participant regardless of age, gender, race, place of living or any other limiting factor.

3. MEWC 2024: Tasks

    • Each round of the Competition will provide one Task consisting of a range of problem-solving questions solvable with Microsoft Excel.
        1. Each Task will include several Questions that the Participants will have to provide answers for.
        2. The complexity of the Questions will vary, with more complex questions awarding more points if answered correctly.
        3. All the Questions will be formulated in such a way as to provide fully automated objective grading.
        4. It is expected that the Question format will be “Number type-in”. The organizers reserve an option to use other Question formats if deemed necessary.
        5. No answers will be in the form of an essay.
    • The Tasks will be varied in topics; however, all the Tasks will be solvable by a general MS Excel user. Solving the Tasks will require knowledge of Excel functions, data management skills and logical thinking. The Tasks will test participant’s abilities to use MS Excel techniques to solve out-of-the-box problems. The Tasks will not require specific knowledge of finance, engineering, statistics or other scientific disciplines.
    • The Tasks will be structured in such a way that the users of older versions of MS Excel (2010 and up) should be able to complete them. However, newer versions of MS Excel might provide faster ways to solve the Tasks.
    • In order to correctly solve the Tasks, Participants will need to answer the Questions, produce and submit their files.
        1. Participants may be provided with a basis for the Excel model, or the models will be required to be produced from scratch.
    • Model formatting and style will not be judged.
    • Sample Tasks are available on the FMWC website free of charge.

4. MEWC Structure and Sequence of Rounds

    • The following competitions organized by FMWC constitute the qualifying path to winning MEWC 2024:
        1. Road to Las Vegas (optional, separate tickets required) – 10 monthly battles (Jan 25, 2024 – Oct 10, 2024)
        2. MEWC Online Rounds (Oct 12, 2024 – Oct 31, 2024)
        3. Las Vegas Finals (Dec 5, 2024).
      1.  

5. Excel Esports Battles (“Road to Las Vegas”)

    • Series of 10 (ten) Excel Esports Battles will be held in 2024:
        1. January 25, 2024 – 4:30 PM London Time
        2. February 29, 2024 – 4:30 PM London Time
        3. March 28, 2024 – 7:30 AM London Time
        4. April 25, 2024 – 4:30 PM London Time
        5. May 30, 2024 – 4:30 PM London Time
        6. June 20, 2024 – 7:30 AM London Time
        7. July 25, 2024 – 4:30 PM London Time
        8. August 29, 2024 – 7:30 AM London Time
        9. September 19, 2024 – 4:30 PM London Time
        10. October 10, 2024 – 4:30 PM London Time
    • For each battle, participants will receive access to the task in their email between 4:30 PM and 4:40 PM (or 7:30 AM and 7:40 AM) and will have to submit their answers before 5:15 PM (or 8:15 AM) London time. However, no matter the starting time, each participant will have a 30-minute limit to complete everything.
    • The Participation Fee for Excel Esports Battles is $20 for each battle.
    • The registration for the Battles closes 1 day before the start of each Battle.
    • Taking part in the Battles is not a requirement for the players who are willing to take part in the MEWC 2024 – it is possible to qualify for the Las Vegas finals through other ways.
    • The organizers reserve the right to change the dates at their sole discretion (to accommodate for holidays or other events).
    • The times of the Battles may vary to make it evenly convenient for players from different time zones.
    • Each Excel Esports Battle will be live-streamed. The streamed part of the competition will be between 4 players, selected by the organizers, competing live and sharing their screen, camera and keystrokes (hereinafter – Live Streamed Players). The live stream battle will be broadcast on the FMWC YouTube Channel and possibly other media.
    • While there will be only 4 Live Streamed Players, these Battles will be open to any player. Any player is welcome to register for the event, solve the case and submit the answers to the testing platform (hereinafter – Not Streamed Players). The Not Streamed Players are required to upload their model on the testing platform within the 30-minute timeframe.
    • The players will solve 1 game task in an Excel Esports format.
    • FMWC may change the format at any time at their sole discretion. FMWC will notify Live Streamed Players in advance before the live streamed Battle.
    • The stream will be structured in such a way that the Not Streamed Players will be able to solve the case, submit their answers and then watch the 4 Live Streamed Players solving the case.
    • The organizers expect to announce the full results of each Battle towards the end of the stream, including the Not Streamed Player results.
    • Awards:
        1. The top 5 players of each Battle will get a place in the MEWC 2024 Online Rounds (Last 128 Round) – 1 place for the best Live Streamed Player and 4 places for the best Not Streamed Players.
        2. If any of the players have already qualified for the Online Rounds (Last 128 Round) in one of the previous Battles, the qualification spot is awarded to the next best player in the corresponding category (Live Streamed and Not Streamed players ranked separately).
    • A total of 50 spots in the MEWC 2024 Online Rounds (Last 128 Round) will be awarded to the winners of the 10 Battles hosted through January-October 2024.

6. MEWC Online Rounds

    • While the Play-off part of the Online Rounds starts with the Round of the Last 128, it is expected that there will be more than 128 participants registered for MEWC 2024 Online Rounds.
    • The 128 participants who will take part in the Play-off will be selected based on the following criteria:
        1. 50 places to the winners of the monthly Excel Esports Battles (the “Road to Las Vegas” series) that will take place in January – October 2024 (see section 5 of the Rules).
        2. 16 places to the highest-ranked participants of the Financial Modeling World Cup based on the overall rankings after the September stage (excluding 2 (two) worst stage results for each participant).
        3. 60 places– to the winners of the Qualification Round (see details below). Some of the players may qualify for the Play-off under both the i and ii rules. In such case, extra places will be available to the winners of the Qualification Round.
        4. 2 wildcards – awarded by the Organizers of MEWC 2024.
    • Despite Clause 6.b., all the players qualifying for the main draw and willing to participate in MEWC 2024, need to register for the tournament (buy the ticket).

7. Qualification Round

    • In order to provide fair ground for selecting the remaining participants to take part in the Play-off of the tournament, regional qualification rounds will be arranged on Saturday, October 12, 2024.
    • The Qualification Round will be organized in 5 different regions:
        1. Africa,
        2. Asia/Pacific (including Australia),
        3. Europe,
        4. North America (USA & Canada),
        5. South/Latin America.
    • The number of participants qualifying from each continent will be proportional to the number of total participants from the region (i.e., if one region has 560 applicants and all other four regions have only 10 applicants each, then there will be 56 participants qualifying from the first region and 1 participant – from each of the other regions).
    • The Qualification Rounds will start at the following times:
        1. Asia/Pacific – Saturday, October 12, 2024, 8:00 AM London time.
        2. All other regions – Saturday, October 12, 2024, 5:00 PM London time.
    • The Organizers will organize a live stream after the Qualification Round on the FMWC YouTube channel. The stream will start on Saturday, October 12, 2024, at 6:00 PM London time (i.e., as soon as the round is over) and it will feature 4 players who have already pre-qualified for the Play-off. These players will be solving the cases from the Qualification Round.
    • The Organizers will strive to announce the preliminary results of the Qualification Round at the end of the stream. The preliminary results will be also published on the FMWC website together with the correct answers.
    • The participants will have time until Monday, October 14, 2024, 8:00 AM London time to file reasonable complaints to info@fmworldcup.com. The official results of the Qualification Round will be announced on Monday, October 14, 2024, at 5:00 PM London time.

8. Play-off Format (Online Rounds)

    • The Play-off starts with the Last 128 stage (the 128 players are selected based on the Qualification Rules stated in Clause 6).
    • The match winners of each round will proceed to the next round. The losers of each round will finish their participation in the Online Rounds. However, they are still eligible to sign up for the in-person Las Vegas finals (Last Chance Qualification Round).
    • All Playoff rounds will be broadcasted at least but not limited to the FMWC YouTube channel. Arrangements with other broadcasters will be announced as they get signed on the FMWC homepage and/or FMWC social media channels.
    • Round hosts will be focusing on the Live Streamed Players selected for each stream. MEWC 2024 organizers will select a maximum of 8 participants of each round for the broadcast. These players will be required to log in for a video call and to solve the Tasks during the stream. Other players (Not Streamed Players) will be required to log in to the Examination Platform (see below). If a player is chosen to take part in the stream but refuses to do so, such a player will be disqualified from further rounds of the competition. Additionally, for the benefit of the stream, such a player might be replaced by the player that he/she has beaten in the previous round.
    • The Playoff Rounds will take place according to the following schedule:
        1. Last 128 and Last 64: Saturday, October 26, 2024 – 2 sessions (1 broadcasted)
        2. Last 32 and Last 16: Thursday, October 31, 2024 – 2 sessions (1 broadcasted)
        3. The finals will be an in-person event and will take place in Las Vegas, NV, USA, in the HyperX Esports Arena, hotel Luxor, on Thursday, December 5, 2024.
    • In order to allow time zone flexibility for the participants, the Online Rounds (i.e., Last 128, Last 64, Last 32 and Last 16) will have 2 (two) sessions. Depending on the location of the participants, each game will be assigned by the organizers to one of the sessions that provides the most convenient time for both players in the game.
        1. The 2 (two) sessions in a round will take place at 8:00 AM London time and at 5:00 PM London time.
    • The session’s Timeframe begins exactly at the time mentioned above. The Participant is invited to log in to the Competition on the examination platform in advance.
    • The Timeframe takes into account:
        1. Downloading all relevant Tasks
        2. Reading and analyzing the Tasks
        3. Creation of models
        4. Completing the relevant answers for Tasks
        5. Submitting the answers
        6. Uploading the model

9. In-Person Finals Format

    • The In-Person Finals will be held on Tuesday-Wednesday, December 3-4, 2024, at the HyperX Esports Arena in hotel Luxor, Las Vegas, NV, USA.
    • The In-Person Finals will consist of 2 rounds – a 64-player round on Day 1 and the semifinals/finals on Day 2.

10. Day 1

    • Day 1 round will start at 10:00 AM PST on Tuesday, December 3, 2024, in the HyperX Esports Arena in hotel Luxor, Las Vegas, NV, USA. It will feature 64 players who will compete for the remaining 16 spots in the Day 2 Round. The 64 players will use the 12 gaming pods on the stage as well as additional pods off the stage – across the Arena.
    • Day 1 will feature a sequence of 3-4 different tasks, all played in the Arena, in the all-vs-all format. The 16 players who have reached the highest combined score, qualify for the ultimate final of the tournament – Day 2.

11. Day 2

    • Day 2 Round will start at 6:00 PM PST on Wednesday, December 4, 2024, in the HyperX Esports Arena in hotel Luxor, Las Vegas, NV, USA.
    • The 8 players winning their matches at the Last 16 Round (Online, October 31, 2024) will be invited to take part directly in the Day 2 Round. These players will not need to play the Day 1 Round – they will qualify directly. These 8 players will be joined by the 16 winners of the Day 1 Round.
    • These 24 players will take part in the Day 2 Round – the ultimate finals of MEWC 2024. The round will feature 2 semifinal matches and 1 final match.
    • All the matches in the Day 2 Round will feature 12 players and will be held in the elimination format. The semifinals will be 30 minutes long and every 5 minutes a player will be eliminated until after 30 minutes only 6 players remain. These players will be promoted to the final match.
    • The final match will have a similar elimination format, but the game will last 40 minutes. After 30 minutes there will be 6 players left. These players will then decide the medal split between themselves until the 40 minutes elapse.
    • The format of the final matches might change based on the organizers’ decision.

12. The Last Chance Qualification Round

    • The In-Person Finals will be a part of a bigger event, The Active Cell, a Financial Modeling and Excel Training Camp, taking place on December 3-5, 2024. The training camp will be open to any person willing to improve their modeling and Excel skills.
    • To provide more interest and engagement to the Participants and guests of the In-Person Final Round and the Training Camp, the Participants will be able to apply for the Last Chance Qualification Round. Every person registered for the event (including MEWC players who were eliminated in the previous rounds) will have an opportunity to compete in the Last Chance Qualification Round. The Last Chance Qualification Round will be held on Monday, December 2, 2024, as a part of The Active Cell training camp.
    • The Last Chance Qualification Round will be a regular Excel Esports format. The number of players in this round is not limited. It will be a 1-round all-vs-all. The Top 36 players from the Last Chance Qualification Round, as well as 4 wildcards selected by the Organizers, will be added to the winners of the Online Rounds who will form the 64-player pool on the Day 1 Round.

13. Points System

    • The total number of points available for correctly solving all the Tasks at each round (except for the Day 2 Round) – 1,000 regular points and 250 bonus points per round. Additional points could be introduced by the organizers with the goal of giving extra interest to the competition (e.g., an extra 100 points for answering an additional extra-hard question, specified separately).
    • At the end of any round, the participants will have to upload their models on the testing platform. If this is not done upon completion of the participant’s work, the participant’s results might be annulled.

14. Case Design Team (CDT)

    • The Case Design Team is responsible for the Task creation for MEWC 2024 and consists of the leading FMWC participants or FMWC Organizing Committee.
    • The Case Design Team members will be able to take part in the competition (except for the Organizing Committee members). A Task created by a member of CDT will be used in sessions where the particular member is not playing.

15. MEWC 2024 Dates

    • MEWC 2024 will take place on the following dates:
        1. Road to Las Vegas (Excel Esports Battles): Thursday, January 25, 2024 – Thursday, October 10, 2024
        2. MEWC Qualification Round: Saturday, October 12, 2024
        3. Last 128 Round: Saturday, October 26, 2024
        4. Last 64 Round: Saturday, October 26, 2024
        5. Last 32 Round: Thursday, October 31, 2024
        6. Last 16 Round: Thursday, October 31, 2024
        7. Last Chance Qualification Round: Monday, December 2, 2024
        8. In-Person Finals (the Day 1 and Day 2 Rounds): Tuesday-Wednesday, December 3-4, 2024
    • MEWC 2024 organizers reserve the right to change the dates of Rounds at their sole discretion (to accommodate for international holidays, etc.)
        1. If the date of a Round changes, a notice shall be provided on the FMWC Website or FMWC social media channels.

16. World Rankings

    • MEWC 2024 is a standalone competition that will not impact the Financial Modeling World Cup World Rankings or Ratings.

17. Tie-breakers

    • In the event that 2 (two) or more Participants have an equal number of points in a round, in determining the higher-ranked Participant, the following is taken into consideration:
        1. More Time Saved: The Participant with the lowest amount of Time spent on solving the Tasks wins. In case the participants are still tied, then
        2. Best Current Form: The Participant with the highest score in the most recent Round of the competition.
            • If the most recent Round results are identical, then the Participant with the best result in the second-to-the-last round will be taken into consideration.
            • If the results are still identical, then the previous Round results shall be evaluated in a similar fashion going backward (including the Qualification Round and the Excel Esports Battles). In an extremely unlikely case when the participants are still tied, then
        3. Earlier Bird: The Participant who purchased the MEWC 2024 ticket earlier will advance.

18. Participation Fee

    • The Participation Fee (hereinafter – Fee) for the whole event should be paid upon registration. The Fee covers participation in all the Online Rounds of the MEWC 2024 and the Las Vegas Finals – as long as the participant qualifies. The participation fee does not cover participation in “Road to Las Vegas” Excel Esports Battles and Last Chance Qualification Round – these are optional rounds that should be purchased separately. The participation fee does not also cover the cost of travel to Las Vegas. Additionally, the participation fee provides free-of-charge access to the game task files for all MEWC 2024 stages (except the “Road to Las Vegas” Battles). The Fee will increase towards the beginning of the competition. The exact price schedule is as follows:
        1. Early Bird Fee (up to January 31, 2024): $35
        2. Regular Fee (up to October 6, 2024): $50
    • The registration is closed a day before the start of the Qualification Round – on Friday, October 11, 2024, at 8:00 AM London time.
    • The organizers reserve the right to change the Fees anytime at the organizers’ sole discretion.
    • The organizers reserve the right to change the Fees anytime at the organizers’ sole discretion.
    • The Fee is not returned if participants did not take part in MEWC 2024.

19. Prize Money

    • The total prize fund for MEWC 2024 is sponsored by Microsoft, the main sponsor of the event. The prize fund is $37,500 (USD) and is divided as follows:
        1. MEWC 2024 Winner: $5,000
        2. MEWC 2024 2nd Place: $3,000
        3. MEWC 2024 3rd Place: $2,500
        4. MEWC 2024 Place 4-6: $2,000 (x3)
        5. MEWC 2024 Place 7-12: $1,500 (x6)
        6. MEWC 2024 Place 13-24: $1,000 (x12)
    • The organizers reserve the right to refuse the Prize Money payout if the Participant cannot confirm their identity by submitting photography of a valid government-issued ID document.
    • The organizers will contact the prize money recipients using the email address provided upon purchasing the participation ticket. If the participant ignores the communication attempts for 6 months after the end of the competition, organizers reserve the right to refuse the Prize Money payout.
    • The competition winners become our brand ambassadors. It is expected that they will get more attention from mass media and social media. The brand ambassadors are expected to take part in the interviews, representing FMWC in good faith, promoting FMWC’s good name and fair competition.

20. Changes in the Rules

    • The Organizers have the right to change these Rules at their sole discretion.