Twitch removes PogChamp emote after creator’s controversial statement

PogChamp emote banned on TwitchTwitch

Twitch has removed the PogChamp emote from its platform after the “face of the emote,” Ryan ‘Gootecks’ Gutierrez, “encouraged…violence” in a Twitter statement on January 6. The platform is looking to create a new emote to replace the iconic image.

The PogChamp emote has been a staple of Twitch chatters ⁠— and even the internet lexicon ⁠— for almost a decade. However, the platform is looking to wipe its existence on January 6, off the back of controversial statements made by “the face of the emote.”

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Ryan ‘Gootecks’ Gutierrez wrote a tweet about protests in America which the platform deemed was “encouraging further violence.”

PogChampYouTube/Cross Counter TV
The iconic PogChamp emote has been removed from Twitch. It was a global emote on the platform for eight years.

“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,” the platform wrote in their January 6 statement.

“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.”

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Twitch is looking to work with the community on a replacement emote that encapsulates “the most hype moments.” However, they are yet to share the exact process in how they’ll do so.

The emote has various forms on the platform through the use of BTTV and FrankerFaceZ, third-party extensions that gives users more variety in chat.

BTTV has announced they will not be removing their emotes — which include POGGERS — as they have “never removed emotes due to controversies.”

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FrankerFaceZ, however, will be removing all variations of the image from their extension. “Following Twitch, we’ll be removing depictions of the person from FFZ, but it may take some time,” they said on Twitter.

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Streamers have reacted to its removal, as it was formerly one of the most popular emotes available. xQc understood Twitch’s decision, and other streamers called for it to be replaced by other streamers doing a similar face.

PogChamp, as well as derivatives like ‘PogU’ and ‘POGGERS’, have worked their way into the internet’s vocabulary since becoming popularized in recent years.

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UPDATE Friday, January 8 10:20AM PST: Twitch has now announced a plan to release a new PogChamp emote every 24 hours for an unspecified amount of time.

“You know what? In the spirit of figuring out 2021 together, let’s just roll with it for now!” they tweeted on January 8, in reply to a fan suggesting that the emote isn’t removed but instead randomized from a pool of several streamer faces. “Get ready for a new PogChamp every 24 hours, starting today.”

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The original PogChamp emote dates back to 2010 from an outtake of one of Gutierrez’ videos. It was added to Twitch in 2012, and was one of the first “global emotes” viewers could use.

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