VALORANT pro player for NRG Crit has admitted to lying about taking a PCR COVID-19 test in the lead up to the Nerd Street LAN in Philadelphia, and has since tested positive for the virus along with several participants of the event. As a result, he may have exposed his teammates and other attendees of the LAN to deadly virus following his lie about the test.
The player admitted to lying after his teammate, NRG ethos, published a Tweet on Wednesday, warning those who were at the event to get tested as soon as possible, showing DMs with Crit admitting to ignoring the PCR test result.
"PSA: if you went to the @nerdstreet Philly LAN please get a covid test ASAP," ethos stated. "One of our teammates lied about getting a PCR test when his whole family had it and has only now admitted it, he and multiple others just tested positive. Don’t be irresponsible, immature or an idiot."
In the screenshots attached to ethos' Tweet, Crit can be seen admitting that he didn't want to spend the $125 it required to take the test, and instead claiming he took two at-home tests, which are much less reliable than the PCR lab test. However, ethos is also questioning whether he took at-home tests.
ethos said in a follow-up tweet, "for further clarification, I would like to add there is no way to know if he even took an antigen test. He didn’t even know what an antigen test was until we explained to him the difference between PCR and antigen. What we do know is multiple teams from the LAN are positive. Lying to go to LAN and lying to save face. Bouncing back and forth from story to story until he finally lands on something we can’t verify. he’s changed his story all week and now our team and multiple others are showing symptoms, including the team that drove him there."
Crit apologized on Twitter Wednesday night, saying, "I deserve all the hate I’m going to receive from this because it is absolutely justified, I was immature irresponsible and, as Alan said, an idiot. I let my own drive to compete get in the way of what really matters and that’s the friends and family of everyone who I could have impacted by my poor decision to not get an actual PCR test done as instructed."
He continued, "I used 2 of the home covid tests 1 day before I left for Philly and also the day that I left and both came out to be negative so I believed that was enough but I was wrong all I can say is I’m sorry for the trouble I have caused everyone and anyone I might have hurt by being this irresponsible. I'm 19 years old but I still act like a child and I have to grow up and start thinking. I won’t allow this to ever happen again and once again I am sorry to everyone. Forgive me"
In response to the backlash, NerdStreet CEO John Fazio said, "this is unacceptable and will be handled swiftly. We are all in this together. If we want to get back to regular LANs, we're all going to need to play our part. We'll be taking another look at our LAN policies as well. Thanks for making us aware."
He further clarified in response to a concerned Twitter user calling out nerdstreet that they will be informing everyone at the event that they need tested.
The situation comes amid an unprecedented surge of COVID-19 on the back of the new Omicron variant that has seen US COVID numbers breaking records for cases. Many events have been cancelled due to COVID-19 over the past year, including the North American VCT LCQ, which was forced to move online in late 2021 after multiple players tested positive for COVID-19.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.