Few teams came out of Valorant Champions as revitalised as KRÜ Esports. The Latin America reps went from scrappy underdogs perceived as being a tier below the true contenders to asserting their dominance by beating Sentinels and Fnatic, as well as taking subsequent runner-ups Gambit to the limit on their way to the semifinals.
Naturally, the talent of each player in the roster helped massively when it came to going the distance, but an expertly crafted coaching staff led by industry veteran Rodrigo "Onur" Dalmagro propelled to the next level.
Sadly, it seems the 34-year-old is willing to be left out of a job following his decision to not stay with KRÜ in order to pursue a new opportunity in Brazil with LOUD, one that has been squandered after he was deported from the country due to not being vaccinated against COVID-19.
The decision to join LOUD and relocate to Brazil came at a time in which COVID cases continue to increase in the country, as prior to December, the government didn't require foreign travellers to show proof of vaccination, with only a negative PCR test deemed good enough.
With Brazil becoming an even bigger tourist destination due to its lenient health regulations and the fact that the country received a spike in travellers looking to enjoy a frantic carnival marathon amid the holidays in the middle of the summer, they are now demanding proof of vaccination from all foreign visitors.
Onur, who has expressed multiple times he's not been vaccinated against COVID-19, pointed out on social media he does not think of himself as an "anti-vaxxer" but rather "anti-health passport."
"I am not anti-vaccines. I am anti-health passport, which is not the same. Those who have always read me know my stance, I have spoken about this in the past and understand when I tell them that I am being consistent with my beliefs," Onur wrote on a twitlonger.
On that same twitlonger, the former CS: GO and League of Legends coach revealed that they started their journey to Brazil in December without him or LOUD knowing about the latest vaccine regulations the country had put in place that same month.
"I do not have a signed contract with Loud. We were in negotiations, very advanced, but there is no legal link between us. When the team manager was informed about the travel restrictions, they only required a PCR with less than 72 hours of validity. On 20th December, Brazil releases a new regulation that includes mandatory vaccination for non-resident foreigners in addition to the PCR. I didn't know, and neither did they," he wrote, adding that the airline letting board with no issues despite being aware of Onur's lack of vaccination proof.
Eventually, Onur confirmed his job opportunity with LOUD was withdrawn and went into free agency once more, with the added request that, while he's available to travel, he can't do so to countries that require an obligatory proof of vaccination.
Free Agent (nuevamente)— Rodrigo Dalmagro (@onurthegreat) January 3, 2022
The coach was present at multiple Riot sanctioned offline events, including all Masters and Champions. The company issued daily rapid and, in some cases, PCR tests during these events, but no word on mandatory vaccination was ever spoken.
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games/Getty Images.