Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein Dies, Popular eSports Competitor And Twitch Streamer Dead At 31

A picture of Byron Bernstein.
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Byron “Reckful” Bernstein has died.

The popular Twitch streamer and professional eSports competitor passed away on Thursday, many close to him have confirmed online, including gaming journalist Rod Breslau. Bernstein’s cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but many close to him are suspecting that he may have died by suicide.


Bernstein’s Passing Confirmed By Friends

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While exact details about Bernstein’s passing have not yet been reported, many close to him have confirmed the reports of his passing and noted that he died at home at the age of 31.

A report from the gaming news outlet Dexerto noted that his death was reported to be suicide. The outlet pointed out a Thursday morning Twitter post in which he publicly proposed to an ex-girlfriend and wrote that “please just know in these situations the insane person does not feel in control of their actions.”

Bernstein’s last post on Instagram, made on March 22, became something of a memorial to the popular eSports competitor, with many leaving messages expressing shock and condolences to his family.

As of this writing, there has not yet been any kind of official statement on Bernstein’s passing from the eSports competitor’s team.


Bernstein Had A Fast-Rising Career, But Recent Setbacks

Prior to his passing, Bernstein’s account on the streaming platform Twitch had been suspended in February under mysterious circumstances.

As Dexerto reported, there were a series of controversial incidents during his livestreams leading up to the suspension.

“On February 22, a woman flashed her chest to the stream, while they held Reckful’s camera, which is the first incident some have pointed to,” the report noted. “Later, he is said to have driven at over 100mph while holding his phone and displaying the dashboard. Twitch has taken a zero-tolerance approach to dangerous driving streams in the past, especially if there is speeding.”

Prior to the suspension, there had been signs of a fast-growing career and online following for the World of Warcraft and Hearthstone gamer. As the Dexerto report noted, Bernstein was quickly approaching the 1 million follower mark on Twitch, gaining close to 1,000 new followers a day for the last month before his account was suspended.

Bernstein had also recently opened up about a $177 million deal that he had helped negotiate himself. As Dexerto noted, he opened up about it during an interview with Twitch streamer and YouTuber Imane Anys, known online as Pokimane.

In the interview, Bernstein noted that he had been hired by a venture capitalist conglomerate that works closely with the U.S. government. Bernstein, who acknowledged that he had been suffering from some mental health issues and recently started taking new medication, said the deal was very significant to him and that he was proud of the work he had done to help secure it.

“They work with governments on non-consumer-facing technology,” Bernstein said of the firm he was working with. “For example, we are going to do the [FIFA] World Cup in Qatar, but I can’t talk further about it, but it’s really cool sh*t. If people go to the World Cup in Qatar, they’ll see some of the sh*t I did.”


If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.