Frankie, an eight-year-old dog better known to the Twitch community as FrankerZ, died yesterday, and the outpouring of support from the community hasn’t stopped since.
FrankerZ was introduced as an emote in 2012, and became a favorite among Twitch. Although the emote was mostly used to convey a sarcastic playfulness, eventually becoming his own meme, the community deeply adored the real life pup who inspired FrankerZ. Frankie belonged to Twitch director of publishing, Ernie Le, and his family. Le tweeted about Frankie’s death early Tuesday morning. Nearly 1,000 people have paid their condolences to Le since then.
Top Twitch streamers, commentators, professional esports athletes and other Twitch employees have all expressed their mourning over Frankie’s death in some way. This is Twitch, though; the best way to celebrate’s someone’s life or achievement is by turning Twitch chat into a non-stop tribute. Twitch even put a callout on Twitter for users to pay tribute to Frankie by using then FrankerZ emote while watching streams.
We are saddened to hear about the passing of our beloved community member, Frankie.— Twitch (@Twitch) July 31, 2018
Frankie will forever be a good boy. If you're on Twitch today, show your respects with a "FrankerZ." pic.twitter.com/IyozppNQaq
It clearly worked. The FrankerZ emote was used almost 150,000 times yesterday, according to statistics site TwitchEmotes. Typically, FrankerZ appears between 25,000 and 50,000 times a day.
Dennis Le, a family member who lived with Frankie, posted a message on a popular Twitch subreddit last night, thanking people for their condolences and offering a little bit more information as to what happened.
“Thank you for your kind words and sharing your memories of our little good boy,” Le wrote. “I came home around 9:30 and found Frankie having a difficult time breathing. He was admitted to the emergency vet around 10:15. Frankie passed around 12:25am from heart failure. It’s pretty hard for me to relive all this right now, so I hope you all understand. He was a good boy and he passed away without any pain.”
Subreddits, Twitch chats and Twitter replies are full of messages from people recounting their own stories about losing pets, and posting “7,” which is used to convey a salute. Notable Twitch streamers, like GreekGodx, even held little memorial sessions on stream.
People are still using the FrankerZ emote to show their support for Frankie, and Le. The emote has already been used nearly 100,000 times today.