Twitch torpedoes PogChamp following Trump-spurred Capitol chaos

Everyone seriously needs to calm down

The Twitch PogChamp emote is based on Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez.

Even if you haven’t spent 23.5 of the past 24 hours glued to MSNBC, chances are you’ve heard that there’s been a bit of a national crisis in Washington, D.C. And now, PogChamp is in the fight.

Yesterday afternoon, President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Borat 2 movie star Rudy Giuliani held a rally just down the street of the U.S. Capitol building during which they encouraged MAGA disciples to march on one of the most important symbols of American democracy. A couple of hours later the red-hat-clad protestors where smashing windows at the U.S. Capitol, chasing security guards around the building, and reclining in the chairs of politicians like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Many watching on TV called for something resembling law and order. And many more were happy to see chaos reign. All of which has led Twitch to removing the gaming emote known as Pog.

First, the background on why PogChamp is in the fight.

One of those who was seen as stoking the fires on social media was Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, also known as the face of the emote PogChamp.

Among the tragedies of the storming of the U.S. Capitol was the death of Ashli Babbitt, an American veteran who’d done four tours of duty. She was fatally shot as police and protestors clashed inside the building. That led Gutierrez to take to Twitter with the following.

One way of reading the above tweet is that a fighting-game personality is asking a simple question. Another is that Gutierrez is suggesting that now isn’t the time to give up the fight to “Make America Great Again”.

PogChamp features Gutierrez!

Where this gets complicated is that PogChamp is an emote featuring the face of Gutierrez—a Street Fighter pro—as caught on a video blooper reel in 2010. The emote is used by Twitch users when they want to show they’ve been surprised or have something to be extra-excited about.

Twitch was paying attention to what Gutierrez had to say about yesterday’s incident, which has been condemned by those on both sides of the American political spectrum.

Taking to Twitter, the mega-huge streaming platform announced the removed of PogChamp emote. Twitch said its decision was based on “following statements from the face of the emote encouraging further violence after what took place in the Capitol today.”

It added that “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.”

There’s at least some good news for those at a loss for how to show their off-the-charts amazement the next time they’re on Twitch. The company also tweeted this: “We will work with the community to design a new emote for the most hype moments on Twitch.”

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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Recent Comments (1)

Vicki January 15, 2021 5:12 pm

“Borat 2 movie star Rudy Guliani” had me ROLLING! hahahaha!