Today Twitch announced that they have removed the PogChamp global emote following statements from Gootecks, the face of the emote regarding the fatal shooting on Capitol Hill today.
Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez is known for being a professional Street Fighter player, and fighting game enthusiast. He is the founder of Cross Counter TV along with fellow fighting game enthusiast Mike Ross. Gooteks is most known for the excited open-mouthed expression that was taken from bloopers from an episode of Cross Counter TV in 2010. The expression became one of Twitch’s first global emotes “PogChamp” is used to express excitement and hype over extraordinary moments, the POG referring to “Play of the Game”. At over 2 million uses per day on Twitch.tv, The emote has become a staple on Twitch as well as a staple meme in internet culture at large.
Gooktecks has faced controversy in the past over his conservative politics. Today he made series of tweets questioning if there will be further civil unrest in response to the death of Ashli Babbit, a protester that was shot and killed by police during the protest on Capitol Hill.
In response to Gooteck’s comments the Twitch Twitter account posted that the PogChamp emote would be removed, stating Gooteck’s statements were encouraging further violence. As concerns poured in Twitch issued follow-up tweets stating that the company wants to preserve the meaning behind the emote and will be rolling out a replacement emote for PogChamp in the near future.
Some have noted this decision by Twitch is another example of inconsistency in the way the platform handles controversies. Twitch Partner and popular streamer Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker infamously stated in one of his streams that America deserved the 9/11 Attacks that killed over 3000 people, and received no punishment.
The remove of the PogChamp emote comes on the heels of Twitch’s new harassment policy that bans the term ‘Simp’ among others from being used on the platform.