Streaming giant Twitch has removed an iconic PogChamp reaction emote based on Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez after he encouraged Trump supporters to continue their actions at Capitol Hill.
The still-active tweet by Gutierrez came during a massive storming of the U.S. Capitol, in an effort to disrupt remaining vote tallies by Electoral College for President-elect Joe Biden. After a woman was shot and killed by authorities, “Gootecks” hailed her as a martyr while directing followers to watch a “gruesome” video on an alt-right website. His tweet would also be directed to a public who knew Gutierrez for his fighting game streams and his Cross Counter TV platform. More famously, his reaction in a viral meme became the face of an emote across Twitch.
In a brief response, Twitch removed the emote from all channels and banned its use for streamers. The company also stated PogChamp now became an icon which incited civil unrest and more violence following the U.S. Capitol attack. PogChamp would be used ubiquitously by Twitch and other live audiences to show excitement or extreme hype in games.
“We can’t in good conscience continue to enable use of the image,” Twitch wrote, suggesting the original message for Pog is still valued for the gaming community.
The PogChamp removal adds to Twitch’s sweep of harassment-related material, including the confederate flag, a number of custom racist emotes and use of the word “simp” earlier in December 2020.