Brother Chris Chike is an engineer and a trailblazing gaymer whose passion, skill, and resilience propelled him to esports legend (and into the Guinness Book of World Records).
Chris's journey, marked by resilience, ambition, self-discovery, and unwavering dedication, serves as an inspiration to everyone especially those ready to chart a new course toward success. From his humble upbringing to his triumphant moments in competitive gaming Chris's story is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Chris's childhood in Poughkeepsie, NY, followed by Rochester, MN, may have been what he refers to as "pretty sheltered and comfortable," but it was the world of video games that shaped his identity and gave him a taste of what is it like to be part of something larger than just oneself. At the age of 13, unbeknownst to Chris, he's started what would be come a 15+ year relationship that would change his life and forever etch his name, image, and accomplishments in stone as CHRS4LFE.
In January 2005 Chris was introduced to Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) by his neighbor and they began playing incessantly. It didn't take him long to get a copy of the game himself and start to clock an impressive amount of hours on the game. As YouTube channel Etienne reports, in as little as "5 months he [Chris] was already putting up stealth AAA on some of the harder material the game had to offer."
"I noticed I was getting better at such a fast rate and that I'm really good and I could actually go somewhere with this."
Through the better part of his teens he would continue to set and break his own records -- then set and break world records repeatedly. To really get a sense of how incredible Chris's talents are, check out 49:00 or 1:39:00 and watch for even just 1 minute. (Rhythm Game Anomalies: iamchris4life). But DDR wasn't the only game where Chris had absurd talent. In 2008 he was the first person to be enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records for Guitar Hero play.
Chris's unwavering passion for DDR motivated him to participate in competitions around the United States and eventually on a global scale. In February 2017, the first year that the Konami Arcade Championship would open applications to Americans, Chris entered and swept the tournament winning first place and becoming a Dance Dance Revolution World Champion.
While the allure of winning wasn't driven by monetary gain, his desire to be the best propelled him forward. Unexpectedly, his esports journey brought him lifelong friendships, uniting him with individuals who shared his dedication to the game.
Chris looks back fondly on his esports career and shares how video games were the most meaningful part of his childhood and how the games he has played throughout his life are a big part of who he is and who his best friends are today. Through these experiences he learned that standing out and embracing one's uniqueness is far more important than fitting into societal norms.
Chris chose the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in Philadelphia, PA in the fall of 2009, due to the gentle and loving persuasion of his grandparents who were familiar with the institution and thought he'd be a great fit there. While he didn't get overly involved in student activities, on campus jobs or other clubs, he would join the Sigma Phi Epsilon Pennsylvania Delta chapter and find that his brothers would hold a special place in his heart. Chris found solace and support in the fraternity and it became Chris's home away from home, providing a safe space where he could be his authentic self.
"I lived in the chapter house for 3 years, starting sophomore year until I graduated.
SigEp felt like home because it was the first time in my entire life I felt like everyone's differences were celebrated and not ridiculed. I felt like I fit in by being my unique and authentic self. I don't think it was any one brother in particular. It was just the general atmosphere of having someone there I could count on whenever I needed a helping hand or just someone to keep me company."
By his senior year, he knew he needed to be honest with his fraternity bothers and summon the courage to reveal his authentic self, sharing his truth as a gay man with his fraternity brothers.
"It was something that was really hard for me to do. I remember it was at one of our weekly chapter meetings in October 2012. After the meeting was over, I told them I had something to say, and I stood up in front of them and came out to them.
The support I received was overwhelming; they actually lined up to give me a hug. From that point on, I was instantly so much happier."
After graduating from UPenn, Chris embarked on a successful career at GE Healthcare as a software engineer, primarily focusing on UI development. Currently taking time off for self-reflection, Chris plans to continue his journey in software development.
Through all of his experiences, Chris Chike, Sigma Phi Epsilon brother and Chicago Society member, has shown that being true to oneself and standing out from the crowd can lead to incredible achievements and genuine connections. His journey demonstrates the power of embracing one's unique identity and pursuing their passions relentlessly. It is a testament to what you can do when you're "100% prepared to kick it all the way to #1."