Twitch have stated they have removed the Pogchamp emote as it would “encourage violence;” after a death at the protests at the Capitol Building and comments made by Gootecks
The emote originated from streamer Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, in a video where he made an exaggerated expression. That face was later used as an emote on Twitch.
While originally meaning “Play of the Game Champ” or “Pogchamp” for short (latter poggers) to denote when a streamer did something impressive in a video game, the term has evolved and changed over time. Now it can describe almost anything as impressive or exciting.
On January 6th, Trump supporters protested outside the Capitol Building in Washington DC; in rejection of Joe Biden’s certification as the next President of the United States by the US Senate. This was due to allegations of election rigging with both the Presidential race, and several Senate seats.
At one point, protesters managed to break into the Capitol Building, with Senators going into hiding wherever they could. During one attempt at breaking into the Capitol Building, a woman who was part of the protesters was shot, and later died.
Gutierrez had tweeted coverage of the incident by InfoWars, the controversial news group run by Alex Jones. The tweet was an off screen recording of the shooting on InfoWars’ website.
Editor’s Note: Due to the graphic nature of the video in the tweet, we will not be linking to it directly on Niche Gamer. Most search engines will find Gutierrez’ Twitter account by searching his name at this time of writing.
Gutierrez tweeted “Warning: this is graphic, but it’s important for everyone to see this video because we don’t know how it will try to be spun or suppressed and she gave her life for our country. Rest In Peace #MAGAMartyr”.
Other Twitter users seemed to object to Gutierrez’ tweet. Some claimed he was paranoid and a “conspiracy theorist” for believing the event would be re-contextualized or falsely retold to make Trump supporters look bad. Others stated they felt the shooting was justified, as the woman had broken into a government building during a time security were on high-alert.
Soon after Gutierrez’ tweet, Twitch announced they would be removing the Pogchamp emote as it would be “encouraging further violence.” They stated they would create an alternative.
“We’ve made the decision to remove the PogChamp emote following statements from the face of the emote encouraging further violence after what took place in the Capitol today.
We want the sentiment and use of Pog to live on – its meaning is much bigger than the person depicted or image itself– and it has a big place in Twitch culture. However, we can’t in good conscience continue to enable use of the image.
We will work with the community to design a new emote for the most hype moments on Twitch.”
Many Twitter users objected to the removal of the iconic emote, stating it was overreacting or an attempt to “unperson” Gutierrez. As a popular emote, there have been many parodies and memes of famous faces and characters performing the Pogchamp face.