While gaming, many Twitch streamers often express their quick thoughts and reactions via emotes. The small images are like more detailed emojis, and there are a few that are staples on the service — and that get used millions of times each month.
One longtime favorite emote among streamers has been the PogChamp, which showcases the open mouth of content creator Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez. Beginning on Jan. 6, any Twitch user who tried to select or utilize the emote was unable to do so.
Why was PogChamp banned from Twitch? The man behind the emote was removed from the service following comments he made about the riots at the U.S. Capitol. Keep reading to find out what he said and to learn how Twitch handled the situation.
Who is Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez, the man behind the PogChamp emote?
The 38-year-old is known as the founder of the Cross Counter Training site, which helps users to get better at gaming. His proficiency in Street Fighter led him to compete in tournaments throughout his childhood, and he later turned his talents into a career.
He's also a published author, and he created Cross Counter TV.
The PogChamp image is one of the oldest ones on Twitch, so it has made a place for itself in the gaming world.
Why was the PogChamp emote banned from Twitch?
Following the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Gootecks took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the matter and on the death of Ashli Babbitt, one of the pro-Trump protestors.
"Will there be civil unrest for the woman who was executed inside the Capitol today or will the #MAGAMartyr die in vain?" Gootecks tweeted. "The video will be aired soon on (banned dot video) & (theresistance dot video) and it sounds pretty gruesome."
Gootecks then accused Twitter of censoring his posts. "PS Big Brother Twitter wouldn't let me post the url so if you don't think big tech censorship is real, there you go," he concluded in a follow-up post.
He later wrote that Ashli Babbitt "gave her life for our country," and he shared a video of the aftermath of the shooting.
A few hours after Gootecks' initial post, Twitch released several statements on Twitter about removing his infamous emote.
"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," the first tweet in the thread read.
"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," the second post stated. "However, we can't in good conscience continue to enable use of the image."
The post concluded with a promise that the image would be redesigned: "We will work with the community to design a new emote for the most hype moments on Twitch."
Many Twitter users commented on the thread by sharing their take on the PogChamp photo.
Gootecks has not publicly commented on the image ban at this time.