It all starts with a dream, and through dedication and determination, Afiq “chii” has finally realised his by becoming a full-time streamer.
“Playing games would be the best chance to get along with my parents.”
While it’s common for gamers to get into their passion through peer influence or via self-discovery, “chii” completely bucks that trend. He fell in love with gaming through family bonding with his parents, even though they were always hard-pressed for time, given their careers.
Afiq bin Afzainizam, better known as “chii”, is a full-time live streamer who mainly focuses on PUBG Mobile. He began his work life as a computer salesman after graduating from his tertiary engineering education in Universiti Kuala Lumpur. His friends and family may have expected him to work as an engineer, a seemingly more rewarding occupation, but he had other plans.
Afiq desired to be a professional gamer, so, he chose to work in a related industry. He explained that gaming and computer industries are inseparable because technology impacts a game’s development and how immersive it can get.
His decision was obviously a bold one. If he had failed to ride on the streaming hype, he might have wasted six years in the “wrong” position. Fortunately, Afiq managed to pick up both the hard and soft skills necessary to earn a living as a streamer.
By the nature of his job scope, he was able to test out different computers and gear. Slowly, he became more experienced, and eventually developed a small fan base. Prior to becoming a full-time content creator, Afiq tried to stream his gameplay, but it bombed.
“That wasn’t the right time for me (to stream). Although esports was always there, it wasn’t that big until the launch of PUBG. It was from then that almost everyone I knew started to play the game, including me.” Afiq revealed he was quite an introvert and wasn’t confident enough in doing live streaming at that time.
When PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) took the gaming/esports scene by storm, he made the decision to play the game competitively. Afiq realised that the time had come for him to establish himself in this rapidly growing scene.
He was one of the founders of Face Gaming, a professional PUBG team that participated in different tournaments in Malaysia and achieved commendable results along the way. But the honeymoon didn’t last long because PUBG (PC) required a relatively powerful computer to be played smoothly, unlike the mobile version which was fast gaining traction.
Most of his audiences didn’t have the privilege to enjoy the finest PUBG fun, so they naturally turned to PUBG Mobile, and likewise Afiq. The main reason he switched his stream from PUBG to PUBG Mobile was because of requests from his fans. Ultimately, what is a streamer without an audience?
The 31-year-old cherishes the support from his fans because they are literally his motivation to stream now because audiences are the boss of streamers, after all. “A quality stream without an audience isn’t good at all because no one notices you.”
It’s incredible to witness Afiq’s great success – he currently works with Facebook Gaming, Asus ROG, Elgato, Corsair, Tencent and more. He is also quite a popular streamer on Facebook Gaming in the local scene. It’s safe to say that he is living the gamer’s dream.
Imagine working as a full-time streamer and getting to review the latest and coolest products from the big brands. How cool would it be if you have a job like Afiq’s? However, he made huge sacrifices and put in loads of effort to get to where he is now.
He studied hard to attain good results that could easily help him secure a good job (“good job” being subjective). Some people have even failed at the first step because they weren’t disciplined enough to achieve their goals.
“My parents were actually very strict about us playing games, but luckily, they were open-minded to let us strike deals with them.” The kids had to study hard (do their homework and revision) to earn the chance to play games, which is a fair deal.
Afiq made the bold decision of not following convention for a career option. He chose to be a computer salesman over an engineer and proved that determination can overcome various difficulties. His passion and determination are worth sharing with people who harbour similar dreams, though everything should be within reason.
Back then, he was just another young boy who enjoyed playing games with his parents. Young Afiq lived a comfortable life, though it came at a cost with his parents having to hold down several jobs. While it was challenging for his parents to cover family expenses, playing games was a welcome luxury for him at that time.
Afiq and his younger brother used to visit the neighbourhood bookshop selling game magazines every weekend to check out the latest games. Young Afiq often saved most of his pocket money to purchase his favourite game magazines.
“I’ll go through every word of the magazine to fully utilise it, including the advertisements!” Unlike the way we normally purchase games nowadays (through online), people bought game magazines to get free games because they weren’t easily available in the past. Kids like the young Afiq had no other way but to save their allowance to purchase games, and in a way, that thought them the lesson of value.
Hence, every game Afiq owns is very precious to him. He would play the game repeatedly with his family members, especially his father.
“It was such a memorable experience for me because I could deeply feel my father’s love by watching him going through many difficult stages for me.” People can find their own happiness in little things, and for Afiq, that quality time spent with his parents is what he cherishes most.
When asked about how he got the gamer tag “chii,” Afiq spilled the beans about it being a character name from the Chobits anime. He likes the character very much and insists “chii” sticks in the head better as well.
His favourite games are Super Mario Bros, Pac-Man and Duck Hunt. “My father will always save Princess Peach for me, and he is like a giant for me.” He is grateful to his parents for giving him and his siblings everything they possibly could.
While his head thinks games, his heart certainly feels family. And if good role models for young gamers are in short supply, look no further than to “chii”.