Byron Bernstein, the Twitch streamer better known as Reckful, has died. Bernstein was just 31 years old. The news has been confirmed by Rod Breslau on Twitter. Fans initially became concerned about Bernstein after he tweeted cryptic and concerning messages on Thursday.
“ahh, i feel bad for anyone who has to deal with my insanity… please just know in these situations the insane person does not feel in control of their actions,” Reckful wrote over two tweets.
Many of his fans reached out to support and share stories of their own mental struggles, including entertainer and fellow Twitch streamer Andy Milonakis.
“There’s more than insanity, you have a good personality, you’re funny and caring. That’s why people love you. I do think it’s best to delete the tweet, if she’s the one it will have to potentially someday build back into a relationship, afraid this will push her away more.”
Milonakis’ tweet appeared to reference Bernstein’s ex-girlfriend Blue, who is also a Twitch streamer. Breslau tweeted that both she and his roommate have confirmed the devastating news.
“Yes, it’s him. He’s gone… I’ve been having a panic attack for an hour. I don’t know what to do,” Blue tweeted before sharing a short clip of the couple in better times.
In the clip, Blue and Reckful posed and made silly faces alongside each other while filming with a filter that made them appear to look like deer. In the caption, she thanked Bernstein for the life they shared, tragically adding that she wished there was something she could have done to help.
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. pic.twitter.com/S7UoNGwpmM
— Blue (@BlueGoesMew) July 2, 2020
Further details about his death were not made available.
Bernstein garnered a massive following on Twitch due to being one of the world’s greatest World of Warcraft players. For six seasons of the game, he was the number one ranked player and became the first to reach a 3000 rating. In 2010, he won the Major League Gaming World of Warcraft tournament in Washington, D.C.
When the news was confirmed, Reckful’s friends and fans began reacting to the tragedy of a life cut short.
“Heartbroken. Still in shock, I’ve dreaded that this day could possibly come. RIP Byron, I love you,” tweeted Milonakis, not even three hours after his initial message to his friend.
“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,” DJ Wheat, the Head of Creator Development at Twitch, wrote on Twitter before expounding on his message in a follow-up tweet.
“This isn’t a ‘F*ck 2020’ moment. This is a ‘we need to pay attention to mental health’ and ‘we need better resources in the gaming/streaming community’ moment. Yes 2020 SUCKS, but that’s even more reason for us to recognize and combat the stigmas around mental health. RIP BYRON.”
“Damn, the countless hours Reckful spent giving millions of people laughs and making people smile. And no one could give him the same. Rest in peace Byron,” pro Overwatch player Dogman tweeted.
Bernstein’s fellow World of Warcraft streamer Bajheera tweeted his respect to the man he called a “legend” of the gaming community.
“The human spirit has a tremendous capacity for hope, love & happiness, but also for sadness & pain. Devastated to hear about the loss of Reckful, a Legend in our community & a trailblazer for livestreaming as we know it today. Shine bright & shine together, now more than ever.”
As Bernstein’s peers spoke out with tributes for their friend, his fans had a tribute of their own in the game he loved. An account shared an image on Twitter from the site of World of Warcraft’s cathedral, revealing that players had gathered together to take a knee in respect for one of the game’s greatest players.