Over the years, Twitch has managed to cement itself as the number one platform for streamers, regardless of their content.
On Twitch, it doesn’t matter whether you like to stream yourself playing and excelling on some CoD Warzone or want to stream your webcam as you have a chat with some of your followers; you will always find an audience.
Twitch has asserted itself well as the top dog, leading the way with no other streaming platform seemingly coming close. Of course, many have tried, but the less said about Mixer, the better.
Twitch has succeeded, where so many others have crashed and burned, it is hard to understand or see from the outside. However, as someone who has been a part of Twitch and several communities therein from the early days, I have to say Twitch feels different from all those other failed sites.
In my honest opinion, the main reason for this is the sense of community Twitch manages to help build with its creators on a one-to-one basis.
In other words, Twitch has managed, better than any other platform in the past, to allow creators just enough freedom within their framework to build and maintain their communities. At the same time, Twitch sits back and implements new features to help this process.
One of the essential features ever added to Twitch, and the main component of the site’s success was the addition of emotes.
These emotes, initially loaded onto the site to serve the same job as emojis, quickly became a fundamental building block for streamer communities, allowing people to create niche in-jokes that only certain sides of the Twitch community would understand, thus introducing a feeling of belonging and togetherness.
These in-jokes have quickly spiraled out of control, turning Twitch into something that can appear daunting to the uninitiated, especially if you’re considering engaging in Twitch chat for the first time. Therefore, in this guide, I will take you through a brief introduction to one of the essential Twitch emotes that was being banded around the platform before its eventual banning post the Capitol Riots in America, the pogO emote.
So, with all this being said, let’s jump right into this emote, its background, and its meaning!
Quick PogO Emote Facts
- When did the pogO emote first emerge on Twitch? We do not know where the emote first originated from. However, it was uploaded to FrankerFaceZ by PermenantlyBanned on October 20th, 2019.
- What is the emote based on? This emote is a variation of the pogU emote featuring Ryan “Gootecks” Guiterrez’s face. The original emote shows the streamer’s mouth open; however, this version has been edited to have his mouth closed.
- How can you get the pogO emote on your Twitch? Add the FFZ or BTTV google extension to your twitch account and web browser.
- Do I have to subscribe to use it? While the emote was in service, most streamers did not place the emote behind a paywall.
What Exactly Are Twitch Emotes?
Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of the pogO twitch emote, we must understand exactly what Twitch emotes are, as they are very different than your common emoji.
Twitch emotes have become synonymous with the platform, as key to the site’s continued success as entertaining streamers. These small images are vital for boosting the site’s sense of community and how the viewers communicate across the platform.
In essence, these pieces of non-verbal communication serve the same function as your basic text emojis. However, Twitch has allowed its community to design and customize its images to use as emotes to make the whole site feel much more like a community.
These emotes are often specific to a single streamer, with each having a library of personalized emotes and the control to allow their use or not during their streams.
Twitch defines its emote function as something to use “when words just aren’t enough,” I cannot think of a better summary than that.
The only drawback I have come up against with Twitch emotes is that they can become very niche and channel-specific within a short time, with in-joke leading into an even deeper in-joke.
Therefore, newcomers to certain streamers can feel a little overwhelmed by the complex conversations in chat that can often appear as alien as a foreign language.
Lastly, Twitch has also set their emote function up to allow streamers full control over the emotes allowed in their chat, as well as allowing some of these emotes to be placed behind a subscription paywall, meaning that if you wish to communicate as freely as some of the other viewers in twitch chat, you will have to fork over some of your hard-earned money.
I understand why streamers would make this decision, as it incentivizes people to subscribe and help pay your bills; however, it does implement a semi-call system in the stream, which I don’t entirely agree with.
The History and Origin of the PogO Emote
As with most Twitch emotes these days, the pogO emote is a variant of another emote that rose to popularity on the site, causing viewers to modify the image further, creating subsets of the original to be used for increasingly niche purposes.
This has happened repeatedly on Twitch, and it is a practice that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, even if it is annoying to keep track of sometimes.
The pogO emote is a variant of the pogU emote. Both are considered part of the PogChamp genre of emotes, a series of emotes that rose to prominence across Twitch seemingly overnight, with the aforementioned series of PogChamp emotes hitting the twitch platform in a massive wave after the first-ever PogChamps chess tournaments back in 2020.
This series brought together many popular twitch streamers and saw them compete against one another on the popular chess site Chess.com.
The face that has been turned into these pog emotes belongs to streamer and Street Fighter player Ryan “Gootecks” Guitierrez. The original pogU emote features a still frame of his face during a video shot for “Cross Counter TV” on November 2010.
Ryan’s reaction, which gave the still frame source for the emote, came as a blooper for this video after the cameraman managed to knock over his camera mid-shoot. You can find this famous reaction at 2:09 in this video below.
The pogO variant is the same face. However, it has been edited to have his mouth closed instead, creating an image that doesn’t look right as the upper section of his face still holds the animated expression, but his mouth is taught and closed.
How the PogO Emote Was Used
As I have already mentioned, the PogChamps series of emotes have been banned by Twitch following the incidents of the Capitol Riots in Washington, DC, way back in 2021. However, this does not mean that the communities who loved the PogChamps emotes have gone away.
Twitch still heavily supports the use of ‘poggers’ as a site-wide niche term to mean something good has just happened. Therefore, I think it is still essential to understand how and when to use the pogO emote or the term poggers in twitch chat.
When the emote was still in circulation, the typical twitch user had a pretty hard time discerning when and how to use the PogChamp series of emotes effectively without getting one confused with the other. After all, they are all pretty similar.
So, when using the pogO emote, the user had to wait for the perfect moment to deploy this emote. One example could be when something uninteresting, relatively dull, or slightly embarrassing is said in chat or on stream. This would provoke viewers to post the pogO emote alongside the phrase “who asked?”
Essentially, you would use the pogU emote when something unique, shocking, and/or cool happened on stream; therefore, you would then use the pogO emote when the exact opposite occurred.
The same can be said for the term ‘poggers’; while this term is still used heavily in Twitch today, you really need to learn when to deploy it properly to ensure you aren’t singled out as a newbie on the platform.
To use poggers correctly, you will have to wait for a moment that the original pogU emote would have been fitting.
However, poggers have grown beyond the confines that the emote found itself in. instead of being used only when something amazing has happened, the term poggers can also be used as a synonym for good or great amongst the twitch community—allowing people to review things as being poggers and many other uses of the word.
Banned From Twitch
If a couple of years ago, you came to me and said that the actions of the President of the United States would affect whether or not I had access to my favorite Twitch emote, I would not only have called you insane; I would have ex-communicated you from my life and ensured all pointed objects were taken away from you.
However, after President Donald Trump lost his campaign for re-election to Joe Biden, a series of events took place that resulted in just that, the banning of the entire PogChamp series of emotes from Twitch.
To make a long story short, and to explain why the emotes were banned in the first place, let’s take a look at a condensed version of events that occurred immediately preceding this banning:
- President Donald Trump lost his campaign for re-election against Joe Biden.
- President Trump then gave a speech that resulted in a mass group of his supporters marching on the US Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021.
- This march resulted in numerous incidents of violence and five deaths.
- Ryan Guitierrez, the face featured in the pogO emotes, then tweeted, asking if there would be any “civil unrest” for a woman that was shot dead by Capitol Police during the riot.
As social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter moved to suppress right-wing hate across their platforms and calm the flames that had engulfed many across the United States on January 6th, Twitch decided that they would have to step us as well to ensure no further contributions to this violence were made via their platform.
Therefore, they decided that, whether right or wrong, politically speaking, it was probably best to remove Ryan Guitierrez’s face from their platform after his tweets.
Therefore, they banned the entire PogChamps theme of emotes, stating that they “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.”
While many had their opinion on this decision at the time, Twitch has held firm and kept the ban in place ever since.
Emotes You Can Use Instead of PogChamps
While this series of emotes is no longer allowed on Twitch, you can still find some really good emotes to express yourself through on Twitch. Some of these are available as standard, while others can be accessed within each streamers channel or via the FFZ and BTTV google extensions.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the best emotes you can use to fill that void left by the PogChamp banning.
The Sadge Emote
One of the best emotes on the platform has to be the Sadge emote. Not only is it hilarious when deployed correctly, but it also flies in the face of the alt-right section of the internet, which wished to corrupt the standard Pepe the Frog meme into something sinister.
I would say that each sarcastic use of the Sadge emote is a step in the right direction, so by all means, spam that thing, baby!
This emote, which depicts the late streamer TotalBuscuit giving us one of his trademark laughs, is perfect for any moment of comedy that may take place during a given stream.
While this emote has many definitions and purposes, it is pretty much accepted that you can use it as a replacement for lol or any other form of expressing laughter.
While TotalBuscuit is no longer with us, we can still remember the many laughs he gave the gaming community over the years and helped keep his memory alive by using this emote, something I am sure he would have fully supported.
I love that you can use this emote for serious and sarcastic reasons. The 5head emote, a variation of the 4head emote, shows the ex-streamer Cadburry with a digitally altered forehead, enlarged to give off some ‘big-brain’ energy that can be used to signify a streamer has either done something clever or stupid, depending on the context.
How to Get These Emotes on Your Twitch Account
As a twitch viewer, there is nothing worse than entering into a new chat and finding that there are a series of emotes that are not available to you.
For whatever reason this may be, whether some are hidden behind that subscription paywall or because you don’t have the proper extension program enabled, the fact that you cannot join in is still pretty annoying.
To mitigate this from happening and to ensure you can get extra emotes that aren’t made globally available by default from Twitch, you will have to add the FFZ or BTTV web browser extension onto your account and choose which emotes you wish to have at your disposal.
To do this, google those two previously mentioned web extensions and add them to your browser and twitch account. These extensions are the go-to programs at the moment and will have every emote you could possibly need.
As with viewer accounts, the exact process must also be done here. You must first download an FFZ or BTTV extension and have it linked to your twitch account.
The main difference here is that, as a twitch streamer, you have ultimate control over what emotes are used on your channel; however, this is often a finite number. So, you must go to your twitch account after these extensions have been added and select which emotes you wish to see popping up in your twitch chat.
After this is done, keep on top of what emotes are popular on the platform throughout the year, changing your selection of emotes to keep up with the times.
Goodbye, PogChamp and PogO
While it is never easy to let any piece of internet history go, especially one that has become part and parcel of how you communicate online, it seems like that is the only option going forward for the pogO emote.
I definitely remember a lot of exchanges with my friends on several streams wherein the pogO emote was used liberally and with very little necessary context, especially in the months preceding its eventual ban.
However, times move on, and so must the twitch community. So, hopefully, the alternatives I have provided will help fill the gap left by the emotes banning, allowing you to communicate effectively and move on.
Of course, it’s only an emote, and I am being a tad bit dramatic, but you get my point. I hope you enjoyed this pogO emote guide and found something interesting in it. Regardless, I wish you good luck in your next twitch adventure!
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What does the PogO Emote Mean on Twitch?
Answer: When you saw the pogO emote in a twitch chat, it essentially meant that the viewers in a chat found a joke to have fallen flat or that someone in the chat has said something that they really do not care about. Essentially, it is a way to express your boredom with a comment or occurrence.
Question: Why was the PogO Emote Banned?
Answer: The pogO emote was banned as it was part of a more extensive series of emotes called the PogChamp emotes. All these emotes feature the face of a former streamer who was deemed to be acting irresponsibly by the people over at Twitch in the events immediately preceding the Capitol Riots on January 6th, 2021.
Question: When was the pogO Emote First Added to Twitch?
Answer: The pogO emote was first added back in April 2020.