Twitch has announced that it’s removing the PogChamp emote from its platform. Emotes have been central to the Twitch experience for years, and PogChamp has historically been one of the most popular emotes on Twitch. PogChamp as we know it has been wiped from the service as this point, but Twitch has also indicated that it will look to replace it with another emote that can be used during hype or surprising moments on stream.
Twitch took to Twitter yesterday to explain why it was removing PogChamp, saying that the person depicted in the emote – Ryan “gootecks” Gutierrez – expressed support for the storming of the US Capitol Building on January 6th. “We’ve made the decision to remove the PogChamp emote following statements from the face of the emote encouraging further violence after what to place in the Capitol today,” Twitch said.
“We want the sentiment and use of Pog to live on – its meaning is much bigger than the person depicted or the 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,” the company said, noting that it will “work with the community to design a new emote for the most hype moments on Twitch.”
The tweet Twitch seems to take issue with was published by Gutierrez yesterday evening. “Will there be civil unrest of the woman who was executed inside the Capitol today or will the #MAGAMartyr die in vain?” Gutierrez asks in the tweet. Gutierrez is not only the face of the PogChamp emote, but also a number of PogChamp-related emotes available through Twitch enhancement extensions like FrankerFaceZ.
According to StreamElements Twitch Chat Stats page, PogChamp was the fifth most-used emote on Twitch, behind TriHard, LUL, <3, and Kappa. Given its popularity, we’ll likely see Twitch try to revive PogChamp using the face of another streamer at some point in the near future, but for now, Twitch users will have to use something else for the exciting moments captured on stream.