Twitch announced that the PogChamp emote has been removed from the platform because the person whose face was depicted in the emote published tweets that encouraged “further violence”. The decision was taken shortly after a riot at the US Capitol.
What is PogChamp?
PogChamp, also known as “Play of Game Champ”, Pog Champion, Poggers, or just Pog, is one of the first emotes on Twitch. The emote was used to express hype both genuinely and sarcastically whenever something happens on a Twitch stream. In 2020, the term PogChamp also started being used as a form of endearment since the release of the My Little PogChamp meme.
The image that is used for the PogChamp emote is from a 2010 Cross Counter TV video that features former Street Fighter player Ryan Gutierrez, who is also known as Gootecks. An outtake was uploaded to YouTube on November 26th, 2010, and was later added to Twitch.
The emote blew up in 2012, and up until its removal, PogChamp was used over 2 million times a day on Twitch. It will no longer be used but we can still use its variants like PogU (through external extensions like FrankerFaceZ) which do not showcase Gootecks’ face.
Twitch’s Statement on The Removal of PogChamp
Earlier today, Twitch revealed, “We’ve decided to remove the PogChamp emote following statements from the face of the emote encouraging further violence after what took place in the Capitol today”. They later added “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 the use of the image.”
The platform has promised that they will be working with the community to design a new emote to celebrate the most hype moments on Twitch. The statement from the streaming platform came shortly after Gootecks tweeted out if there would be more civil unrest in the USA following riots breaking out and a woman being shot at the Capitol. Trump protestors had stormed into the Capitol building to delay the certification of the 2020 US presidential elections.
Many content creators and Twitch users voiced their opinions on Twitter and are divided over the platform’s decision to remove the emote. While many feel that no one thought about Gootecks when using the emote, others agree with Twitch that it was the right decision to not publicize the person via the emote for his controversial tweets.