Most Valuable Player
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In sports, a Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best-performing player (or players) in an entire league, for a particular competition, or on a specific team. Initially used in professional sports, the term is now also commonly used in amateur sports, as well as in other completely unrelated fields such as business and music. In many sports, MVP awards are presented for a specific match—in other words, a man of the match award.
The term is most common in the United States and Canada. In other cases, "Player of the Year" is used. In Australia, Australian rules football clubs and leagues use the term "Best and Fairest", while those playing rugby league use "Player of the Year", such as the Dally M Medal. The National Basketball League, however, uses the American-style "MVP" for its awards. Insofar as there is a distinction between an MVP and a Player of the Year, a "player of the year" describes the greatest individual talent, while a "most valuable player" is a person most responsible for their team's success.
In many cases the awards are voted on by members of the media. In others the vote is by players, coaches, or umpires. In recent years online polls from the public decide some awards.
Specific examples include:
- Major League Baseball's American and National Leagues, AL & NL Championship Series, and World Series; also All-Star Game
- National Football League regular season and Super Bowl; also Pro Bowl;
- Hart Memorial Trophy (National Hockey League regular season) and Conn Smythe Trophy (playoffs); the All-Star Game also has an MVP
- National Basketball Association regular season and Finals; also NBA All-Star Game
- Major League Soccer regular season and MLS Cup
- FIVB Tournaments
- Canadian Football League regular season, East Division, West Division, and Grey Cup; also "Most Valuable Canadian" awards for the regular season and Grey Cup
- College football's Heisman Trophy
- NCAA Basketball Tournament
- Indian Premier League
- National Basketball League regular season and Grand Final
- Leigh Matthews Trophy, given by the AFL Players Association to the AFL's most valuable player (as opposed to the Brownlow Medal, given to the best and fairest)
- Philippine Basketball Association regular season
The term is also used in video games. For example, the games Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 contain challenges to kill the "MVP" of the opposing team a certain amount of times (they call it "Counter-MVP") and Halo 3 to mean the person with the highest score or amount of kills. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift an MVP title is awarded to a character at the end of each battle based on how well they performed the role of their job. The MVP system is also used in MAG and Team Fortress 2. In Battlefield 3 there is an MVP award for the player who scored the most points during a round. There is also an MVP 2 and MVP 3 for the second and third most-scoring players during a round. In Counter Strike an MVP is awarded at the end of every round to the player who has done a notable act. These include eliminating the most amount of enemies, defusing/successfully ensure the detonation of a bomb, etc.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences makes "Most Valuable Player" awards annually in a number of instrumental categories.
MVP is often used in business to designate a valued employee. In this context, sometimes the "P" in "MVP" is something other than "player". So, for example, Microsoft uses MVP to mean Most Valuable Professional. The term is applied to recognized, credible, and accessible individuals with expertise in one or more Microsoft products who actively participate in online and offline communities to share their knowledge and expertise with other Microsoft users.
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