Twitch Removes PogChamp Emote Following Gootecks’ Call For Violence

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Zackerie Fairfax

Twitch Removes PogChamp Emote Following Gootecks’ Call For Violence

Following today’s violent affairs at the United States Capitol, Twitch announced it would be removing the popular PogChamp emote from the platform after the face of the emote, Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, used social media to encourage further violence in Washington, D.C. While the PogChamp emote was formerly used to celebrate when a streamer accomplished a great feat (with “Pog” standing for “Play of the Game”), its removal from the platform has been dubbed by many to be a “Pog moment.”

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The PogChamp emote has been around since Twitch was created in 2011. The moment that birthed the popular emote was during an outtake video from the Cross Counter TV YouTube channel uploaded in 2010. During these outtakes, one of the men off-screen bumped into the camera while it was filming. Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez reacted to the incident with a rather comical expression spawning the iconic emote. Ironically, the actions that led to the creation of the emote were the opposite of “Pog.” Despite the PogChamp emote’s popularity and cultural importance to Twitch, many have since discovered that Gutierrez actually holds many dangerous extremist views, but the use of the emote continued ironically even among those privy to his fringe political beliefs.

Related: Twitch Streamer Gets DMCA Strike On Twitter For His Own Year-Old Clip

Over the years, Ryan Gutierrez has remained semi-relevant as the co-founder of Cross Counter TV, but he’s predominantly known as the PogChamp guy. However, Gutierrez’s words following today’s attempted insurrection by far-right extremists at the US Capitol showed many his true colors. Following a female rioter being fatally shot by authorities during the Capitol building insurrection attempt, he tweeted at his followers, implying that she would die in vain if supporters of exiting President Donald Trump didn’t engage in further political violence. Later, Gutierrez shared a graphic video of the shooting in question. In response, Twitch responded to this disturbing call for violence, announcing that the PogChamp emote would be removed from the platform due to its inherent connection to Gutierrez. (While the inciting tweets will not be reproduced here, they can still be viewed on Gutierrez’s Twitter account at publication time.)

Twitch also acknowledged that PogChamp is a large part of the platform’s culture, and as such, it plans to find a way for the sentiment of “Pog” to live on. Twitch holds that the now-removed emote’s “meaning is much bigger than the person depicted in the image,” but that the platform will not continue to enable the use of Ryan Gutierrez’s face to represent some of the “most hype moments on Twitch.” It also stated that it will be working with the community to design a new emote to replace the 10-year-old one that’s been removed.

Time and time again, Twitch can be counted on to make disappointing decisions, but Twitch absolutely made the correct decision today. What Ryan Gutierrez attempted to incite today is disgusting, and Twitch was aware enough to make the right call and remove his face from its platform. PogChamp, in one form or another, will always be used to celebrate the great moments that Twitch’s community and streamers create together, and Twitch’s actions today are deserving of a hearty round of Pogs (or at least a round of its coming replacement) in the chat.

Next: Twitch Apologizes For DMCA Takedown Mess & Promises A Legal Solution

Sources: Twitch

Originally published here ScreenRant – Feed

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