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Digging into the PogChamp banning, why Gooteks had his face removed from Twitch

(Image Credit: CrossCounterTV)
(Image Credit: CrossCounterTV)
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 08 Jan 2021, 00:24 IST
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Gooteks, the face behind the PogChamp emote, has gotten himself into hot water with his recent Twitter comments. It has led to the emote being removed from Twitch altogether.

The PogChamp emote, one of Twitch's most popular emotes with variations such as pog and poggers, spread throughout the internet like wildfire. Gooteks is known mostly for his role as one of the best content creators for the fighting game community. This includes CrossCounterTV and the show filmed with his partner The Excellent Adventures of Gooteks & Mike Ross.

What led to PogChamp getting banned on Twitch?

The Coup on January 6th, the fighting game community, the Twitch streaming community, and others play a part in this ban.

During the events of January 6th, an angry protest turned into a riot and attempted insurrection as political terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol building to thwart American democracy. Fortunately, this group of terrorists were unable to capture anyone as Congress had evacuated moments prior.

During the storming of the Capitol building, one of the terrorists was shot by someone within the building. She was rushed to a hospital but later died of her wounds.

It was this event that led Ryan “Gooteks” Gutierezz to post a comment on Twitter which read, “Will there be civil unrest for the woman who was executed inside the Capitol today or will the #MAGAMartyr die in vain?” He later posted a video showing the event in question.

These comments were taken as condoning and even encouraging political violence in the United States Capitol. This whole event served as a wakeup call to many people who believed that political violence could never get so bad in the United States.

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Many big tech companies may have started to feel partially responsible, given their platforms' importance in organizing and inciting this violence.

Twitch decided to take a hardline against Gooteks for condoning and supporting the Coup. This is why Twitch commenters will no longer be able to use his face as the PogChamp emote anymore.

Conflicted feelings about Gooteks all around.

It can be hard for those outside the fighting game community to understand why Gooteks’ words have left many fans feeling conflicted. Gooteks and Mike Ross were a well-known pair in the fighting game community, responsible for thousands of players picking up a controller and trying fighting games for themselves.

It was during one of these episodes that the PogChamp face was spawned. During an outtake, Gooteks gave someone off-camera the now-famous expression, creating PogChamp by chance in a moment of unexpected comedy.

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When Mike Ross departed from Twitch and CrossCounterTV in 2017, Gooteks continued producing fighting game content. CrossCounterTV usually brought in pros to take a seat on the couch to play and talk about their experience for the viewing audience to see. 

Together, they were the best public face for the fighting game community. Even after Mike Ross left, Gooteks was still able to put out fighting game content that kept players invested in the community even when the games were getting weaker.

But somewhere in the background, Gooteks must have fallen into a political rabbit hole that he could keep out of the public eye. While not the worst things said on January 6th, his comments yesterday still amount to support for the political violence seen in D.C. during Stupid Coup. 

The future of PogChamp on Twitch

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Twitch is well aware of their community’s use and need for some emote to capture the feeling of the many hype moments that happen throughout Twitch.

Shortly after announcing that the PogChamp emote would be removed from their site, Twitch announced that they would be working closely with community members to design a suitable replacement.

Almost immediately, streamers and fans began making suggestions for their own PogChamp replacement. Dan from DansGaming, of the well used DansGame emote, provided his own recreation of the PogChamp emote, alongside hundreds of others.

It probably won’t take too long to come up with something. The Twitch community moves fast and will latch onto anything that seems to capture the right face expression.

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Although there will always be some upset that they can no longer use Gooteks’s PogChamp to communicate their excitement, the vast majority will likely not care or will only care as a means of political signaling.

Of the hundreds of thousands of Twitch commenters, who made use of the PogChamp emote, it’s possible that many didn’t even know who or where the emote came from. So long as the replacement emote is as animated and recognizable as the former, the Twitch community may not even care.

Published 08 Jan 2021, 00:24 IST
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