Everyone needs some time to unwind, but very few would fill their holiday hours with complex Excel-based challenges.

Those very special few - who dream of the perfect macro – have gathered for the annual ModelOff event in the US.

ModelOff 2014, otherwise known as the Financial Modelling World Championships, pits the Excel abilities of people around the world against each other in an intense battle for spreadsheet supremacy.

It is held in the darkened backrooms of Microsoft Offices in New York City.

There is Fight Club, and then there is ModelOff.

Competitors sport pseudonyms to strike fear into their opponents – “Numbers Nick”, “The Russian Rocket” and “Leverage Lund” among the most tremble-inducing.

For this year’s ModelOff finals, competitors were given three tasks: build a pension fund calculator, conduct financial modelling for an airline, and determine the shortest route through a maze.

Antipodean entrants represented well amongst the 4,000 global entries.

Australia’s “Mr Energy” Peter Suen and New Zealand’s Michael “The Cricketer” Clarke took out equal third place behind Hong Kong’s Alvin “Winning” Woon in second.

First place and the grand prize of $30,000 went to New York local Diarmuid Early – AKA “The Diamond” - of Deutsche Bank.

Mr Suen - an analyst at the Clean Energy Finance Corporation - took home half of the $10,000 third place prize money.

“There was great energy amongst all competitors’ right throughout the two days of the finals,” Suen told reporters this week.

“The whole ModelOff experience has been incredible... from an amazing helicopter ride over New York City to the challenge of the finals and the buzz of the after party, there really is no other competition like it.”

The organisers have posted this video, wrapping up the competition and announcing the winner, with the full winners list below.