Why did PogChamp get banned from Twitch?

PogChamp is an emote that was used on the streaming platform, Twitch, but was banned in January 2021 because of being associated with support for the storming of the Capitol.

PogChamp is an emote, likened to an emoticon, that was used on the streaming platform, Twitch, as a way to express excitement, joy or shock in the chat box during any livestream. The PogChamp emote, in particular, showed an image of the streamer, Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez, with a surprised expression. Custom emotes are specific to a given channel and can be unlocked by subscribing to that channel, which is why the PogChamp emote was so successful, because of its large following.

In January 2021, the PogChamp emote was banned from Twitch after the popular gamer, whose face appeared on the emote, posted a controversial tweet on his Twitter page after the riot at the US Capitol. Ryan, who had openly admitted to being a Trump supporter and advocated for the riots, began becoming associated with the violence surrounding the rally. His tweet questioned if there will be civil unrest for the woman who was executed inside the Capitol, which was perceived as an instigation of further violence after the issues at the Capitol were resolved.

On Thursday, 7 January 2021, Twitch released a series of tweets explaining the reason for banning the PogChamp emote. It stated, “We’ve made the decision to remove the PogChamp emote following statements from the face of the emote encouraging further violence after what took place in the Capitol today. 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 the use of the image. We will work with the community to design a new emote for the most hype moments on Twitch.”

Whilst Twitch users will not be able to use the emote on the platform, Twitch has committed to designing a new emote that expresses similar emotions.