Slasher, a reputable source in the gaming and esports industry, first reported the death, writing “according to his ex-girlfriend, Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein has passed away. i can’t believe this.”
The death has now also been confirmed by Reckful’s roommate, according to Slasher.
Reckful was one of the first streamers on Twitch and was a professional esports player. He was best known for his achievements in World of Warcraft. He was also working on a social MMO titled Play Everland, which is set to release in 2020.
Reckful tweeted just three hours before the reports of his death, writing, “ahh, I feel bad for anyone who has to deal with my insanity” and “please just know in these situations the insane person does not feel in control of their actions.”
Reckful Died by Suicide, According to His Ex-Girlfriend
According to multiple sources on Twitter, Reckful died by suicide. His ex-girlfriend, known as Blue, tweeted, “Someone I loved killed themselves. I wish I could have said something to prevent it… whyyyyy” and “I keep thinking there’s something I could have said or done… I wish I reached out more.”
She also shared a video of her with Reckful, writing, “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.”
Reckful proposed to Becca (@BeccaTILTS) on Twitter hours before his death. He posted several photos of them together and asked if she would marry him, adding that replies should not “make her feel pressured to say yes” and saying the reason for the post was that he knew “she’s the one.”
Becca later came out with a statement saying that she did not see his proposal until it was too late.
“My heart hurts,” she wrote. “I’m sure many of yours do as well. Byron just wanted everyone to be friends, so let’s be that for each other during these difficult times. I will do my best to live as the best human I can be, Byron. I promise. Rest in peace.”
The Twitch & Gaming Community Are Mourning His Death
When streamers began to be notified of Reckful’s death, they began reaching out to their fans and posting about his influence on their lives. Since he had been around since streaming video games started, many in the gaming community knew him and were close to him.
Streamer Dennis ‘cloakzy’ Lepore ended his stream when he heard the news, leading many in his community to be worried about him. He later tweeted the reason and referenced Reckful’s death.
“I’m just crying idk what to even say or do I wish I could of done more,” he wrote.
Tim “TimtheTatman” Betar, who is also a fixture in the WoW community, also tweeted about the loss. He wrote, “really hard to believe. rip Byron.”
After the death was reported, Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, who works as the head of creator development at Twitch, took to Twitter to express concern for the gaming community.
“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. Yeas 2020 SUCKS, but that’s even more reason for us to recognize and combat the stigmas around mental health. RIP BYRON.”
Reckful Previously Opened Up About His Battle With Depression
In late 2019, Reckful turned to Harvard psychiatrist and Twitch streamer Dr. Kanojia to talk about his depression. He said at the time that he was focusing on the people who have experienced the same type of thing that he had. He also talked about his depression openly on Twitter.
On January 5, 2020, he gave an update during a stream and told his chat that he was happy.
“I’m happy,” he said at the time. “I’ve never felt this way in my life! I’ve never felt day-to-day happy when I’m doing nothing and alone. I’m not saying it’s going to last forever, but right now I am so happy and I want to keep it going.”
Reckful finished rank one online for six seasons in a row in WoW and was the first person to reach 3000 rating and won MLG’s World of Warcraft tournament in 2010.
In 2018, Reckful was ranked fourth in a list of the ten most successful streamers, claiming to have a net worth of around $1.5 million.