“Well, it comes from games—I mean, my friends and I all play Overwatch [a competitive online team shooter] and at the end of every game it awards one player with Play of the Game. And everybody likes getting that, but they also all know it’s a computer deciding, so it doesn’t really understand the nuances of strategy and stuff, so the Play of the Game it says was never really the most important thing someone did in the match. So, um, “Pogchamp” is just Play of the Game [POG] and champion mashed together. But it’s kind of in that gray area of half satirical, like you can call someone a pogchamp when they do something cool or impressive, or like hook up with a girl or something, but it also really can mean that that person is taking their accomplishment too seriously or being obnoxious about themself, so it takes on a double meaning quickly, but also it’s only ever used in a friendly way, like if I actually wanted to call someone out for bragging I’d just say it.”
This piece of folk-speech was shared by a high-school friend of mine whom I called him to ask if he could think of any folklore from or our time in together. The gaming slang term “pogchamp” came up. As his explanation of the term suggests, like a lot of folk-speech, its precise definition proves difficult to nail down, seeing as using it relies heavily on the participants in the conversation and the conversation’s context. “Pogchamp” is much more universal than a lot of specific slang words, because of it near-universal adoption by the English-speaking online gaming community. The popular video game streaming website Twitch even has a “pogchamp” emoji users can type in chats. However, we see that the term has a special meaning for my informant’s specific group of friends, as well, demonstrating its multiplicity and variation.