Bestie Check
BFFs SY Nguyen and Christopher Lee making funny faces.

How A Love Of Online Gaming Brought 2 BFFs Together

Nothing says forever friendship quite like a shared appreciation for niche internet trends.

Courtesy of SY Nguyen and Christopher Lee

Friends may come and go, but best friends are forever. In Elite Daily's Bestie Check, we're celebrating the stories that make best friendship so special. Whether they grew up together or recently met through an app, this series explores the unique ways BFFs first bonded and how they maintain their strong friendship. Below, pals SY Nguyen and Christopher Lee share how the love of a particular online game brought them together 10+ years ago.

From the get-go, there were so many commonalities between SY Nguyen and Chris Lee, they immediately developed a strong kinship. At first, they instantly spotted each other in class due to being their only fellow East Asian kid in the room. Soon after, Chris asked if anyone liked playing the online game AdventureQuest, which SY also enjoyed. As time went on, they both realized they had a shared appreciation for YouTube, then eventually TikTok. Match made in friendship heaven.

“The love of online games brought us together,” SY says. And the internet kept them in close contact in the years that followed. “We thought we were going to be famous YouTube stars and we’d live in a house together making content for all our fans,” says Chris. “We even had gaming channels.”

Though there was a time when their friendship faded due to a rumor, they found their way back to each other, and even more to bond over — like the fact that they’re both part of the LGBTQ+ community. “We always thought how it was a weird coincidence that both of us turned out to be gay,” says SY. “Our parents thought we’d be, like, childhood sweethearts or something.” Instead, they describe their relationship as another endearing term: siblings.

Here’s their story:

SY Nguyen

Courtesy of SY Nguyen
  • About Me: A young creative trying to put out meaningful pieces in the world while also trying to entertain strangers on YouTube and TikTok.
  • Age: 21
  • Current Location: London, UK
  • Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius

Chris Lee

Courtesy of Christopher Lee
  • About Me: Musical nerd and amateur singer.
  • Age: 21
  • Current Location: London, UK
  • Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius

How did you two meet?

Chris Lee: Year 3 (second grade) of primary school. I was new to the area and walked in.

SY Nguyen: We met in primary school in Cardiff, Wales when he joined in second grade. It was definitely one of the most diverse schools in Cardiff, but Cardiff was still predominately white. I was about 7 or 8, and before he joined our school, I was the only other ESEA (East and Southeast Asian) kid, so he caught my attention straight away.

What was your first impression of each other?

CL: She was the only other East Asian in the room, so I noticed her instantly, but I thought she was quite tomboyish and boisterous.

SN: I actually thought I had a crush on him when he first came to school. (Back then, I thought any type of curiosity or infatuation must be a crush.) I thought he was quiet and a bit nerdy; he was so passionate about getting the quickest time and finishing first in our class multiplication times tables tests.

How long have you known each other?

CL: Since second grade, so around 13 years.

SN: We’ve known each other for about 13 years now.

How long have you considered yourselves best friends?

SN: I would have to say 11-12 years.

CL: We went through phases, I think. Definitely between third and sixth grade. We were still friends, but not as close between seventh and ninth grade. Then we started being best friends again from 10th grade until now.

What initially sparked your friendship?

CL: We were both quite into gaming, and we found out that we both played this online game called AdventureQuest Worlds.

SN: In third grade, we sat at the same table together for math and all of a sudden he looked up and said, “Does anyone play AdventureQuest?” This was so funny and weird because I also played the MMO (massively multiplayer online game) AdventureQuest, so after that we went home and tried to find each other on there. The love of online games brought us together.

Do you know if you are astrologically compatible? Do you care?

CL: I’m not sure, but two Sagittarians can’t be too bad. I don’t really care if we’re not astrologically compatible.

SN: I think we are compatible since we’re both Sagittarians. It’s nice because we’re usually on the same wavelength and we have similar reactions to situations. But Chris has a Sagittarius moon sign and Sagittarius Venus sign as well, so his chaotic ass is always getting into some strange romantic type of situations and he’s bit more outgoing than I am.

Courtesy of SY Nguyen

What do you do for work?

SN: I’m currently a final-year student studying fashion photography at the London College of Fashion. I work at Take More Photos, taking care of the community side of things and social media.

CL: I study medicine at University College London (UCL).

What’s the longest amount of time you’ve spent together?

CL: I think about a week at max? When we used to visit London, I’d stay at her place often.

SN: The longest amount of time we’ve spent together would have to be 2-3 days when he’d come over my house and we’d play video games together.

What’s the longest amount of time you’ve gone without seeing each other in person?

CL: Quite a while, I think. Probably when she went to Korea, which I think was about three months. It might be less.

SN: I’d have to say about a year. We went to different high schools for freshman year. We also went a long time without seeing each other during lockdown.

How often do you text/call/FaceTime?

SN: Not so often. We usually only call when we have tea or want to update each other on a new crush, our love lives, etc.

CL: I’m really bad at texting anybody first, and even picking up or answering texts. At the very minimum though, once a week.

What was the last thing you texted about?

SN: When he was coming to my house. He was supposed to come at 8, and this guy shows up at 11 p.m. But it’s calm, we’re both so bad at sticking with set times.

CL: This interview, haha. But before that, it was about me coming over to do a TikTok LIVE with her.

What’s the oldest throwback photo you can find of yourselves?

CL: The oldest picture I could find of us was from a sleepover she was hosting with some of our friends. It was taken at some point in 2014.

Courtesy of Christopher Lee

SN: This was taken back in fourth or fifth grade. I can’t remember what for, but we took a photo with our friendship group back then. We were a group of four, including Chris and me. Back then, I can only remember nonstop laughter to the point where you develop abs, you know?

Courtesy of SY Nguyen

What is your favorite TikTok together?

CL: Probably the TikTok that went viral. It was an off-the-cuff idea by SY and I didn’t think it would do as well as it did. We were just in her room making TikToks for fun and throwing random gestures at each other and she came up with the idea to do the limp wrist.

SN: This day was so funny. We were making a lot of TikToks just for fun and this one just blew up. We made it on the spot, but it’s very true. We always thought how it was a weird coincidence that both of us turned out to be gay, even though we grew up with each other and our parents thought we’d be, like, childhood sweethearts or something.

What’s one TV show you both can agree on?

SN: RuPaul’s Drag Race.

CL: RuPaul’s Drag Race. Only from about Season 6 to 9, though. I stopped watching seriously after that point. But those seasons were great; we used to chat about the week’s episode and who we were rooting for all the time.

What's your favorite underrated thing about each other?

SN: Chris is very witty, confident, and outgoing. Plus he can act and hold a note. He knows his self-worth and he’s good at communicating his needs and wants when it comes to relationships. I admire those qualities about him a lot.

CL: I like her dedication to music. I think music is very important to her and other things going on in her life have kind of made her sideline it a little. I admire the passion she has for it and her drive to act on her love by taking lessons and picking up instruments.

What is your favorite memory together?

SN: When we went to a house party together and we knew no one there, but we split up and it ended up being a messy night. I got sick and made out with someone, while two guys fought over Chris. At the end of the night, Chris and my other best friend took me home and we filled each other in on our night. It was like, although we were separate, we were chaotic together.

CL: I don’t think there’s a specific one, but we used to hang out in the city center of our hometown together a lot. We could spend hours cracking jokes, laughing our butts off, and people watching. We would talk about everything and nothing until the sun went down. It was a really good period in my life.

What’s one random memory you have of each other?

SN: I would just go over to Chris’ house and sit next to him and we’d both have our attention on one laptop. We’d play this sword game on Facebook and just create and maintain together. A simple memory, but just spending quality time together usually comes to mind.

CL: Her old vlogging days in primary school. I’m featured in a couple videos. We thought we were going to be famous YouTube stars and we’d live in a house together making content for all our fans. We even had gaming channels.

Which one of you is better at keeping secrets?

SN: Besides keeping it from each other, I’d have to say Chris is probably better at keeping secrets.

CL: I hid the fact that I had a boyfriend from her for about six months, so maybe me? But SY can be very quiet when she wants to be, so maybe her? We’d probably end up sharing them with each other anyway, so maybe we’re just both bad at it.

What was your biggest fight about?

SN: When we were in a massive friendship group back in high school. After that, we weren’t that close for a couple years. We were still friends, but not as close.

CL: The stupidest thing in seventh or eighth grade. We were walking home in a group of friends, and I refused to carry her bag or something. I don’t even know how it escalated, but we ended up not talking to each other for, like, two weeks. I don’t think there’s been anything more serious than that since.

Was there ever a time when you considered not being friends?

CL: There was a period when I fell out with the friendship group I was in as a whole because they started a rumor among themselves that I was pretending to be gay. It was a stupid fight and we were all kids, but I started to distance myself from them because of it, and I thought none of them would be my friend again. We all eventually made up after SY reached out to me.

SN: I don’t think I ever had a time when I thought Chris wouldn’t be in my life, but after that friendship group situation, I didn’t know if Chris would still be my friend. Bit cringy, but I knew I’d always have unconditional love for him, even if we decided not to be friends anymore back then.

What’s one word you’d use to describe your friendship?

CL: Comforting. I know that she’s always there to back me up, even through her hardships and even if I take her for granted sometimes.

SN: Siblings.

Courtesy of SY Nguyen

Why do you think your friendship works?

SN: We just have so much history between us that we just understand each other. We’ve also cultivated so many inside jokes, he’s one of the only people who can genuinely make me laugh until I cry. There’s no filter or a chance to lie between us because I know I can just be real with Chris without hiding it.

CL: We grew up together, so we’ve definitely had a huge impact on the other, in regards to the people we became. I think she’s a source of comfort and I never have to put a filter up when she’s around. We understand each other’s good bits and bad bits, and all the rough patches we’ve been through. Also at this point, it’s a little too late to get rid of her, haha.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from each other?

CL: I don’t have to be so closed off all the time, and opening up is a healthy way to deal with my emotions.

SN: I’ve learned that it’s OK to be me and like who I like. I feel the most comfortable and like myself around Chris, and he’s always supported me in showing my fun side and confident side to others. And throughout growing up with each other, he’d always check in with me as I slowly came to terms with my sexuality.