American Takes First Place At DDR World Championship

American Takes First Place At DDR World Championship

DDR’s main composer, Yuichi Asami, presenting Chike with his trophy at the DDR World Championship.

Chris “iamchris4life” Chike was one of a handful of Americans invited to Japan to compete in the DDR World Championship. It was the first time players from the States had ever been asked to attend, and Chike wasted no time in winning the whole thing.

Included as part of the 6th Konami Arcade Championship, itself hosted at the Japan Amusement Expo, the Dance Dance Revolution World Championships pit some of the best players in the world against one another to see who can move their feet to the beat the most exactingly. In years prior, that person had been South Korea’s FEFEMZ. He won both the 2015 and 2016 championships, but fell short this year against Chike who took the finals 6,005 to 5,974. His fellow American, Jeff “fungah” Lloyd, managed to place third, edging out Japans own o4ma who came in fourth.

The three songs selected for the finals were Dead End (Groove Radar Special), PARANOiA Revolution, and Egoism 440. Anyone who’s ever made a fool out of themselves trying these songs at an arcade in public knows how terrifying they can be, but Chike wasn’t fazed. And why would he be? It was only last fall that he set the world Record for Egoism 440 on challenger with a perfect full combo of 998,850. In the competition earlier today, he hit a PFC of 985,860, just over 20,000 higher than FEFEMZ.

“I just want to say that it’s always been my dream to be an international DDR champion ever since I was 13,” he told the crowd after winning. “And this was my first opportunity to do it and I did it, I succeeded.”

He finished by saying, “I’m taking the title back to America.”

Long before becoming an unstoppable force in the DDR world, Chike was known for showing off his godlike Guitar Hero abilities in videos on Youtube, like this one of him absolutely slaying Dragonforce’s “Through The Fire and Flames” on expert. Back then he was regularly being called the Tiger Woods and Tony Hawk of rhythm games. It was 2008 and he was still in high school worried about AP exams. Now he’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the best DDR player in the world.

Image Credit: Konami.

Image Credit: Konami.

But even though Chike was the number one seed going in, the tournament finals still ended up being close. “After we finished playing the first two songs, I was down by 35 points,” Chike said in an email. “I was a little worried FEFEMZ might be able to pull through for the win, but once I saw what he scored on the third song, Egoism 440, I was pretty confident that I was going to pull ahead for 1st Place!”

And in the end, it was the ground he made up during that last song that ended up propelling him into first place. Now an international champion, Chike said he’s going work on claiming as many more DDR Ace world records as he can.

DDR wasn’t the only game at the event, however. Konami’s other popular arcade games were featured as well. And of course, there was lots of live music, and people in masks.

You can watch the Konami Arcade Championships in their entirety below.