Former pro World Of Warcraft player and Twitch streamer Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein has died. He was 31.
According to his ex-girlfriend Blue Madrigal, Bernstein died by suicide. The beloved gamer’s death was subsequently confirmed by another ex-girlfriend, fellow streamer Rebecca “Becca” Cho, as well as by esports journalist Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau, via Bernstein’s roommate.
“I keep thinking there’s something I could have said or done… I wish I reached out more,” Madrigal wrote in a series of tweets. “Byron, I wish I could have helped you. We all do. I’m so sorry I couldn’t. Thank you for being a part of my life. Love you always.”
“He was amazing. He taught me how to have fun, to experience more and challenged me to try to be more than what I was. He was larger than life, too big for this world,” Cho wrote in a statement, adding that “we need better support for those with mental needs”.
“He brought me to realize that I knew NOTHING about depression, NOTHING about mental health issues. I had this vague idea of what it was and embarrassingly thought that I could help with trivial bullshit.”
Bernstein is best known in the gaming community for his achievements in World Of Warcraft, where he clinched Rank 1 online for six consecutive seasons, making him one of the top players in the world. He subsequently translated that success and his personality to become a hugely popular Twitch streamer with a large following.
Prior to his death, Bernstein had been open about his struggle with mental health and was something he frequently discussed. The gamer was also frank about his bipolar disorder diagnosis and battles with depression, and had once live-streamed a therapy session with psychiatrist Dr. Alok Kanojia.
Following the news of Bernstein’s passing, developers, fellow streamers and fans alike have taken to social media to mourn his death. Read some of the tributes below.
Rest in peace, Byron "Reckful" Bernstein. pic.twitter.com/B3i4CGISx0
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) July 2, 2020
Byron u deserved better. Life is not fair. You were at times the best person to spend time with, u deserved…so much better than this. U were and always will be a legend in my life so in that way you'll never die. RIP.
— Chance Morris (@Sodapoppintv) July 2, 2020
RIP Byron. I just don't have any more words to convey how sad I am for Byron's family and the streaming community… this is devastating. https://t.co/L6vpSZwWno
— djWHEAT (@djWHEAT) July 2, 2020
Thousands of World Of Warcraft players, from across its many regions and severs, have also gathered in-game to pay respects to Bernstein. During the virtual meetup, gamers also shared their favourite memories of the gamer. View screenshots of the tributes below.
Reckful/Byron memorials are now being held inside World of Warcraft across multiple servers and locations to pay respects to a WoW legend pic.twitter.com/Nb4FHfwAvM
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 2, 2020
Besides his success on World Of Warcraft and Twitch, Bernstein was also developing his own game called Everland. It was set to be an open world game with social elements.
FOR HELP AND ADVICE ON MENTAL HEALTH:
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- MIND – For mental health support, advice and awareness
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day
- SANE Australia – National mental health charity supporting Australians affected by complex mental illness
- Black Dog Institute – Putting health in mind
- Mental Health Australia – Mentally healthy people, mentally healthy communities
- Headspace Australia – National Youth Mental Health Foundation