back to article There can be only one... Microsoft Excel Champion

Channel surfers seeking refuge from the world might have stumbled across an esport on ESPN2 that is as brilliant as it is horrifying. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Excel Esports All-Star Battle. It has a been a rocky road for competitive video gaming on the sports network. In 2016, ESPN embraced the esports phenomenon …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about competitive jira. That’d sort folk out.

  2. Chael

    Excel - from the makers of WordArt

    Could spreadsheets be right for you?

  3. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

    Your soundtrack for watching/playing excel

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Your soundtrack for watching/playing excel

      Great choice! Dune, Spice Opera and the Ocean Loaders redux are my favourite picks.

  4. logicalextreme

    One more example, we fear, of people trying to make Excel do something that it really can't.

    The trouble is that as a desktop application with features including data access connectors, an expressions syntax and a (sort of) programming language available to users Excel can do anything; it's just that in the majority of cases it shouldn't.

    As I'm fond of saying: you can build a fully functioning game of Tetris in an Excel workbook, but if you want to actually play Tetris you should pick up a Game Boy.

    Anyway, I can only assume that I'd automatically win the Excel playoffs by just creating a small database. Data types! Ref integrity! The ability to distinguish between a 0, an empty string, no data and a failed lookup! They wouldn't know what'd hit them.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Just use Pandas in a Jupyter notebook and dump to Excel like everyone else does!

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Yup, Excel is actually Turing-complete. Which is terrifying.

    3. david 12 Silver badge

      Yes, I was a bit surprised at the way that was expressed. Our next door business was an SMS provider around yr 2000, and they had a DDE channel process that was designed for use with Excel.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Things Excel shouldn't do

      I worked with someone who tried to do everything in Excel. Office layout? Simply make all the cells square, representing a 10cm square of the office plan. Then colour in the cells as appropriate. Powerpoint presentation? Use worksheets as separate slides. It was simultaneously impressive and awful to watch.

    5. Binraider Silver badge

      Excel hasn't quite got to the point where you could compile Excel from Excel.

      Now that I've said that: With some dirty VBA backend you probably could use Excel as a macro Assembler; with some dirty VB backend to turn the macro into functioning binary.

      Ye gods what twisted idea have I set someone loose with...

  5. Novex

    I'd be interested less in speed of usage, and more about just how far folks can take the VBA. My usage of it in Access goes way beyond anything Access was origamally designed for, though it's getting threatened now that employers (i.e., my current one) are starting to feel that VBA's Win32 API capability is a 'risk too far' and are blocking it using the Virus Scanner when in an Excel file.

  6. JessicaRabbit


    and I thought this KRAZAM video was just a joke...

  7. DS999 Silver badge


    Is competitive Scrabble considered a sport now?

    I guess like how 'i' in front of any product represented the internet for a time, 'eSports' to them refers to anything being done on a computer whether it is playing a computer game or the worst corporate drudgery you could imagine.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Sports?

      Maybe it's: eSports ~ /^e/

      In the non-case-sensitive Windows world, Excel matches.

      Leaves me wondering if eBike racing is also an eSport....

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Sports?

        Leaves me wondering if eBike racing is also an eSport....

        Which is unfortunately called motoE.

        1. Sgt_Oddball

          Re: Sports?

          MotoE, It's better for the Yorkshire folk that way.

          Otherwise we'd turn up on standard bikes and wonder why everyone else had battery powered ones...

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Sports?

        A year or so ago I watched an electric mountain bike race on a motocross course. It was about the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

        The EWS-E on the other hand is fine.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sports?

      Competitive Scrabble has been a sport for years:

      There are no official eScrabble tournaments because - dictionaries.

  8. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Excel Esports All-Star Battle

    Mere fast and flashy fluff for the macro and formula kiddies.

    For the connoiseur of a true sporting contest, there is the 5 day Active Directory administrator test match, where 2 teams of AD sysadmins with full administrator rights compete to get each other "out" by restricting the other team's access to a series of hellishly complex corporate server and PC networks, with "runs" scored when a team manages to perform a simple business task without any fine grained permissions stopping them.

  9. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Waiting for the Matt Parker commentary version

    (Title says it all)

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Excel is why we can't have a simple "quick'n'dirty" database app in Windows

    Type your comments here - advanced HTML and hotlinks allowed.

    1. deadlockvictim

      Re: Excel is why we can't have a simple "quick'n'dirty" database app in Windows


    2. hitmouse

      Re: Excel is why we can't have a simple "quick'n'dirty" database app in Windows

      User inability to conceptualise relational databases is the main reason, or their desire to treat every problem as the nail matching the hammer they've mastered. Hence the resourceful person who haunted user forums in the 90s with the relational database they built with Word tables and WordBASIC.

      Users mostly want tables with some cleverness, hence so many focused tools for table management.

  11. katrinab Silver badge

    Access is looking almost like abandonware now:

    New features added to Access 2021:

    - Slightly improved add tables task pane

    - Slightly improved tabs for table view

    - Slightly improved linked table manager

    - New DateTime2 format with greater range and precision

    - Support for Dark Themes

    - Slightly improved query designer

    - Slightly improved relationships window

    - Slightly improved colour picker dialogue

    1. Little Mouse

      I got deeply into Access 2.0 in the mid 90's, and did some fun, whizzy things with it for my easily-pleased PHB at the time. But it seemed to me then that its limitations in the workplace meant that it would never stay the course like Word & Excel.

      Fast-forward 25 years, and I'm now slowly shaking my head in despair that it's still being kept alive. Is it the right tool for any job? Who actually uses it, really?

    2. david 12 Silver badge

      Access is built on top of the (DOS era) database primitives provided by the file system. There was a move to update the record handling primitives, which would have naturally led to a new version of Access, but the project was canceled. There was also Access 2000, which could live in SQL Server 7 --- but that was killed by SQL Server 2000 a few months later, which dropped the API used by Access 2000 for project storage.

      So both the new directions for Access were killed.

      The modern equivalent for Access is Web applications, with a Web Server and Database server. The web page description is very similar to an Acess/VB6 form description. Access never got into this area because ... VBA in browsers was killed, HTA's were killed, JET back-ends were killed, and Access front-ends were killed.

      It's unfortunate because, although a web server and database is standard for development now, it's still a step larger than having that API built into the workstation operating system. What may be on the horizon now is having that API available in the Browser. You can get a web server operating in a web browser now, but the whole 'sandbox' thing is the enemy of persistent shared storage. Still, that's where I see an Access replacement might come from.

      1. Novex

        The problem I have, and I don't think it's that uncommon, is that I currently work on the 'business' side of the I.T. 'wall'. I.T. won't give business-side developers servers with a database and web server installed. They want to control it themselves, provide it in a data center as far away and cheaply as possible, yet still charge an exhorbitantly high price for an inferior, difficult-to-get-changes-made, end result.

        With that in mind, I can develop solutions using Access far more quickly, far more cheaply, and far more responsively. However, Access's 1990s interface, its network hogging, its low security, etc, are all serious limitations that are difficult if not impossible to work around.

        What I'd really like to be able to have is a server on site, with a suitable database system for the tasks at hand, and a web server installed, and be able to do all the work locally. That way I can get my work done and users aren't limited to Access on the desktop as the only way to use the apps.

    3. deadlockvictim

      SQL Server Express Edition

      I reckoned they should have built an easy-to-use frontend for an installation of SQL Server Express Edition and then retired Access gracefully.

      It should be something that builds reports & databases with the ease of Access and something that does not require an installation of Management Studio.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: SQL Server Express Edition

        That sounds quite a bit like FoxPro... :-P

        No IT provider wants to provide you with the whole toolbox in an easy to use package. If they did, they'd be doing themselves out of good consultancy work.

  12. Jan K.

    Pfff... 25 years ago I had a play with the built-in flight simulator in excel...

  13. The answer is 42


    to avoid boredom, try to do all Excel functions in Access.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gets a mention on the latest 'No Such Thing As A Fish' podcast

    443: No Such Thing As A Little Spreadsheet Loving Mermaid

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