Jessica S. January 7, 2021
Twitch has removed the popular PogChamp emote from its platform after community uproar over a series of Tweets from Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez, whose face is the basis for the emote.
The emote was removed because the statements from the face of the emote encouraged further violence after what took place on January 6 in Washington DC. Gootecks claimed he had a gruesome video that he aimed to make public, but Twitter wouldn't allow him to post the link. Some questioned whether his tweets were meant to show sympathy for rioters who disrupted American politics and forced evacuations. The tweets about the video were quickly circulated, and Twitch community members called for its removal. A few hours later, Twitch pulled the emote from the site.
This isn't the first instance in which Gootecks has written concerning tweets, but it is the one that seemed to be the breaking point for the Twitch community. Gootecks has previously railed against the proliferation of masks despite unaminous scientific agreement that they are helpful in keeping people safe.
Twitch removes PogChamp after Gootecks draws controversy
Twitch has said that they will work with the community to find a new emote for the most hype moments on Twitch, but PogChamp is no longer available.
Gootecks was the co-founder of Cross Counter TV and a former pro Street Fighter player. The emote came to be after a video uploaded in 2011 that featured him. In the video called "Pogs Championship," which was for a MadCatz-brand joystick, Gootecks played a popular disk-flipping game in the early 1990s. At the end of the video, Gootecks wins by dropping a joystick onto a stack of Pogs, making him the Pog champion, which is where the emote's name originated from.
In 2012, Twitch added an image of a surprised face of Gootecks and called it PogChamp. The face was made after some expensive camera equipment was nearly knocked over on the set. "PogChamp" has since become one of the most used bits of slang in the Twitch community, with people often shortening it to "Pog" or "Poggers," and even saying it out loud during broadcasts. Gootecks even capitalized on the popularity of the emote by selling a t-shirt with the image.
Members of the Twitch community are already nominating other emotes to replace PogChamp.