“I knew I was going to marry her after two weeks,” says a woman who fell in love with a Leeds man after playing Call of Duty online.
Finlay Brown, 20, said he felt an instant attraction to Sophia Carlile, 19, when they chatted while playing the game on the same team.
Sophia from Northern Ireland, joined Finlay and his friends against a common enemy on the online platform.
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The pair swapped Instagram profiles and started a Snapchat Snapstreak which they sent at least hourly.
The couple, more than 300 miles apart, would have one-on-one calls that would last up to nine hours and after six weeks they would share every moment of their lives on FaceTime.
Finlay and Sophia finally met in person after six months and moved in together a year later. Finlay, a warehouse worker, left his parents’ home in Leeds to live in Coleraine in October.
He said: “I never thought I would fall in love online, but I knew I really loved it when we first met the game.
“She’s confident, funny and goofy. As soon as we started talking to each other, my feelings grew stronger and stronger. It wasn’t long before I knew I loved her. We just had our Snapstreak all the time, and if we were busy, we arrived every hour.
“When we started FaceTiming it was constant, we didn’t need to talk all the time, we just loved being together. We didn’t need to talk about anything important. I was just very attracted to her from the beginning: I love her style and her accent.”
Sophia, an apprentice hairdresser, said: “After two weeks I knew I loved her. I never thought something like this would happen to me, but I know I will marry her. There was an instant attraction on both sides. I couldn’t”. I don’t go a day without talking to him.
“We work so well together. There’s no one else I want to be with. He laughs so much, and it’s such a healthy laugh. He makes really funny jokes. I thought he was really sweet and when we saw each other I discovered that he is magnificent too.”
When she was 12, Sophia started playing with her uncles and cousins and got her own PS4 for Christmas 2019 – a month before she met Finlay online.
Finlay says he started playing with his big brother when he was around seven years old and by 16 he was playing up to 8 hours a day.
The couple, who have been playing Call Of Duty for years, still love the game and play together, but they also watch movies in their spare time and cuddle up with their cat, Lily.
The loving couple met in each other’s arms when they first met in person, when Finley traveled to Limavady in Northern Ireland for Sophia’s 18th birthday in August 2020.
They visited as much as possible before finally moving in together.
Sophia said: “Call of Duty is such a fun game and you can connect with people all over the world which also comes with risks. But you can block anyone you don’t feel comfortable with.
“Just before meeting him in person I was so nervous my heart was in my mouth and my legs were shaking, but as soon as we hugged it was amazing.”
Finley added: “I was so nervous on the ferry, but I don’t know why, everything was so natural and perfect when we met.”
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