But for the Vietnamese-Australian athlete, gaming is more than just, well, playing games. He uses the medium to meet new people and cultivate patience.
“One thing that it has given me is the chance to meet new people,” the ONE Featherweight World Champion said.
“I don’t play to be the best in the world. I play to kill time or to keep my mind thinking about something else other than what I’m going through. It’s like an escape.
“It gives me patience, too. People go crazy over computer games. I can see why when something goes wrong, like when there are lags or when the internet cuts out. But for me, it’s just like, ‘Whatever, onto the next!’”
Like most kids growing up in the 1990s, the ONE Championship athlete’s relation with games unfolded through consoles. He first played Sega Genesis before moving on to Nintendo 64 and then PlayStation.
“On Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis), I played Alex Kidd and Sonic The Hedgehog, and then on Nintendo 64, I used to play Mario Kart, GoldenEye 007, and WrestleMania 2000 — man, the wrestling games were the best,” he said.
In the early 2000s, computers and laptops were slowly starting to be a hot platform for gamers, and Nguyen jumped on board. He spent a lot of his free time playing Counter-Strike on his laptop.
Unfortunately, he had to put that aside when he and his wife, Brooke Nguyen, had the first of their three kids. Besides focusing on his role as a father, his career as a mixed martial artist was also taking off.
It was only in 2018 when he started gaming again, after ONE Esports partner Razer gifted him a laptop.
“I got the laptop from Razer in 2018 and since then, I’ve been more heavily involved in gaming. It comes with me everywhere I go,” he said.
“If I’m home, I wait until Brooke and the kids go to sleep, and then I’ll play. When I’m doing my camps overseas and relaxing on the weekends, I’ll play games.
“At home, I have a PS4 and I will play Grand Theft Auto or FIFA. On my laptop, I like Call Of Duty, Counter-Strike, and Overwatch.”
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