Former KRU VALORANT coach Rodrigo "Onur" Dalmagro, who helped lead KRU to a surprisingly strong performance at 2021 VCT Champs, lost his potential deal with Brazillian org LOUD fall through over the weekend, after he refused to provide necessary vaccination proofs to Brazilian migration authorities to enter the country. According to the player, LOUD ended negotiations due to the backlash to the player's anti-vaccine passport stance. He was also reportedly deported from Brazil to his home country of Argentina.
The coach announced his departure from KRU in late 2021, citing a desire to prove his system with a team in the BR region. With his LOUD deal falling through and his deportation from Brazil, his future in VALORANT esports is now unclear.
Unvaccinated Onur deported from Brazil after refusing to provide vaccination schedule information
Onur posted a Twitlonger on Sunday, explaining his view of the situation. According to the Twitlonger, the coach was in negotiations with LOUD to join as their VALORANT coach for the 2022 VCT season, though no legal link had been established yet. When he flew to Brazil, however, he fell foul of regulations that require non-residents of Brazil be vaccinated to enter the country, causing him and his partner to be deported from the nation as a result.
He made numerous tweets while being deported, including saying "freedom does not triumph" in one tweet about being deported from Brazil because he refused to provide proof of a vaccine. He also tweeted about health passports being bad in a follow-up tweet, saying "I am willing to lose a job to be consistent with my thinking. I will not give in. They won't break me."
In his Twitlonger, he defended his anti-passport position by citing the controversial Great Barrington Declaration, which is a statement from Harvard University's Martin Kulldorff, Oxford University's Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford University's Jay Bhattacharya arguing against pandemic lockdowns among other responses to the pandemic. The statement has been rejected by many major epidemiologists, including America's leading COVID expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, but it has been endorsed by some infectious disease experts as well.
LOUD ends contract negotiations following backlash to Onur's vaccination stance
There was a significant amount of backlash online to his comments about vaccine passports, which according to Onur was the reason that the org stepped back from negotiations.
According to a translation of the message done by Reddit user lolipenetration, Onur explained: "When Loud contacted me in the past I never hid the fact that I wasn't vaccinated [for COVID-19] or my intent to not get the vaccine as a requisite to work. At first, they tried to find out if it'd be a requisite by Riot or the location where the tournament would be held to know if this could an issue. As far as I know they never got a clear answer."
He continued, "Loud tried helping me at all times, even when deportation was a known fact. After the social media scandal, due to this they decided to take a step back and go another way which i understand and respect."
While he says he understood Loud's decision, Onur spoke out against the social media backlash, calling it toxic and unjust. He likened the backlash to kicking someone when they are down, after having a harrowing 14-hour experience with Brazilian migration in which Onur says he wasn't able to eat, have access to his possessions, and had minimal communication from Brazilian authorities.
Having left KRU, and his plans to move to Brazil stimied, it is unclear what is next for Onur's VALORANT career.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.