Twitch removed PogChamp, one of its most popular emotes, yesterday following comments made by the face of the emote, Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez.
After a mob of President Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol yesterday, the fighting game content creator begged the question if there would be more “civil unrest” in a post on Twitter.
Just a few hours later, Twitch said it was removing the emote. And in a sequence of posts, the platform added that it will “work with the community to design a new emote” that fans can use for the “most hype moments on Twitch.”
The iconic image of PogChamp is known by most people who spend any amount of time on Twitch. Mouth agape and eyes wide open in awe of seeing something miraculous, PogChamp is the face we all make when someone has achieved the impossible.
The emote has become so iconic that it even has a plentiful lineup of derivatives, including Poggers and PogU. In fact, Twitch has gotten to a point where many channels that have active emotes for subscribers have their own special version of “Pog.”
So with the community behind it, what is the next evolution of PogChamp? It didn’t take long after the emote was removed for Twitter’s creative minds to come up with a few ideas.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, idea for finding a new PogChamp is to have some sort of competition.
Everyone in the gaming world has their own PogChamp impression and many streamers have their own channel-specific PogChamp-style emote. If Twitch were to take submissions from all of its users, it could narrow a lot of emotes down and the community could help the platform decide on a new Pog. There could be a bracket-style voting system or some sort of other social media initiative used to drive user engagement and creatively solve the current Pog-less conundrum.
But another more intricate plan could be in the works.
Sean “day9” Plott posted on Twitter last night that one solution to finding a new PogChamp could be for Twitch to “create a database of streamer and/or general faces.”
“Whenever someone types PogChamp, display one of those faces at random,” he said. “Would give a really nice crowd feel to a chat spamming PogChamp and allow the meaning to be tied to all of us instead.”
In just 12 hours, the idea has gained a large amount of traction on social media. But maybe the most important thing going for the idea is that it has the backing of at least one well-known Twitch employee.
Retweeting and replying to Plott’s idea last night, Twitch’s head of creator development djWHEAT showed strong support for the plan.
“I will champion this idea all day and all night,” djWHEAT said. “Also, I love Sean’s brain.”
While the thought of PogChamp having numerous different faces, shapes, hairstyles, ethnicities, and genders seems intriguing, the idea could potentially be difficult to execute from a logistical standpoint. But if the platform can pull it off, the feeling of being in a sea of unique individuals during a climactic event on Twitch would certainly amplify the intensity of the moment even more than PogChamp already has for so long.