On a recent Sega livestream, Yakuza executive director and producer Toshihiro Nagoshi talked about the company’s iconic puzzle game Puyo Puyo. During the discussion, he said that Puyo Puyo esports players were “serious-looking kids.” He then hemmed and hawed, chuckled, and said that these pros seemed like they eat beef bowls with cheese.
Beef bowls or gyuudon (牛丼) is rice covered with beef. The most famous beef bowl chain is Yoshinoya. This is not expensive food. It’s fast, cheap, and delicious. With cheese, it’s very, very good. So what, right? Well...
By saying that Puyo Puyo pros seem like they eat beef bowls with cheese, Nagoshi is making class commentary—that they don’t seem like they have much money and eat inexpensive fast food. Or, more bitingly, that Puyo Puyo players simply were not cool.
As IT Media points out, this year the term chiizu gyuudon gao (チーズ牛丼顔) or “cheese beef bowl face” has been circulating online. Shortened to chiigyu (チー牛) or “cheese beef,” this slang term, as Lately Japanese explains, is used to refer to people who live in rural areas, look very young, wear glasses, and don’t have much ambition. It’s a negative term to deride people who might not be considered “cool.” By using this term, it could be understood that he’s mocking these players.
Considering how Nagoshi is an exec at Sega, it’s not a good idea for him to make fun of the esports pros who play Puyo Puyo!
Thus, because of his comment, as IT Media adds, Sega issued apologizing for the “unpleasant comment” and actually edited out that comment from the YouTube version of the live stream.