Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein, Popular Twitch Streamer, Dies at 31

Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein, Popular Twitch Streamer, Dies at 31

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Byron “Reckful” Bernstein, a popular video game streamer on Twitch, has died, according to social media posts from his ex-girlfriends and brother. He was 31.

According to Blue Madrigal, his ex-girlfriend and one of the people who initially confirmed his death on social media, Bernstein died by suicide.

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Bernstein went by the name Reckful on Twitch, where he was best known for his “World of Warcraft” streams and had over 936,000 followers. Most recently, Bernstein had been working as a developer on his own video game, “Everland,” which was set to release later this year.

Bernstein raised concerns early Thursday morning with a series of tweets, one in which he appears to have proposed to his ex-girlfriend Becca Cho. He followed up the post a few minutes later with, “Ahh, I feel bad for anyone who has to deal with my insanity,” asking his followers to “please just know in these situations the insane person does not feel in control of their actions.”

ahh, i feel bad for anyone who has to deal with my insanity

— Reckful (@Byron) July 2, 2020

Madrigal alluded to his death with several Twitter posts, the first of which reads, “I’m at a loss right now. Something I’ve been scared of happening for so long happened. I can’t stop crying.”

I… I’m at a loss right now. Something I’ve been scared of happening for so long happened. I can’t stop crying. It’s so painful. Please no.

— Blue (@BlueGoesMew) July 2, 2020

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Madrigal then continued to tweet, saying “Someone I loved killed themselves. I wish I could have said something to prevent it.” She then shared a video of her with Bernstein and a screenshot of their text messages.

Someone I love killed themselves. I wish I could have said something to prevent it… whyyyyyy

— Blue (@BlueGoesMew) July 2, 2020

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

Cho later published a Twit Longer post, saying that she “didn’t see the proposal until it was too late” and sharing that Bernstein helped her to understand the complexity of mental health.

“He brought me to realize that I knew NOTHING about depression, NOTHING about mental health issues,” Cho wrote. “I had this vague idea of what it was and embarrassingly thought that I could help with trivial bulls—.”

Cho went on to call for “better support to those with mental needs,” citing a previous instance in which the police were called on Bernstein out of fear that he was at risk of suicide.

“THIS CANT BE HOW PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT THE PLACES THAT SHOULD BE KEEPING THEM SAFE. HOW THE F— IS THAT OK? Friends don’t feel that it’s the right move to call for help when they know that the mental institutions they get sent to treat them like animals incapable of understanding,” Cho wrote.

Bernstein’s brother, Gary, also took to Twitter to confirm his death, writing “My baby brother Byron is gone. RIP. He left in a similar way as my older brother Guy. I’ve no siblings left.” Guy died of suicide when Bernstein was just 6 years old, according to a YouTube video Bernstein posted in January.

My baby brother Byron @reckful is gone. RIP. He left in a similar way as my older brother Guy. I’ve no siblings left.

If you have stories and pictures of him, please share them. pic.twitter.com/11sNZkNxFy

— Gary Bernstein 🌹 (@Gary_Bernstein) July 2, 2020

Tributes from the gaming community have come pouring in for Bernstein. Read some below.

i’ve been fortunate enough to know Reckful through the start of his career as the Rank 1 WoW Arena legend on BG9 and Compexity Red MLG esports champion, all the way through to being one of the most innovative streamers in Twitch history

Byron’s legacy will never be forgotten

— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 2, 2020

Heartbroken. Still in shock, I’ve dreaded that this day could possibly come. RIP Byron, I love you

— Andy Milonakis (@andymilonakis) July 2, 2020

I knew Reckful really early on in his career, covering him in the early MLG WoW esport days. He was always steps ahead of people in-game and out of game. Super smart guy.

Enjoyed his content from afar these past years. I can’t believe what happened. Trailblazer in so many ways.

— JP (@itmeJP) July 2, 2020

Wow just heard about Reckful. When I first started streaming I always looked up to him. Just gut wrenching to hear

— Troydan (@Troydan) July 2, 2020

Reckful was one of the first streamers I subbed on Twitch, and while we haven’t talked a lot in the past few years, I enjoyed my time a lot with him esp. back in the HS days at events and gatherings.

RIP @Byron <3

— Amaz (@Amaz) July 2, 2020

What a dark day. I’m totally crushed and I didn’t even know Reckful personally. He was a pillar in the Twitch Streaming community who I silently admired the success of.

RIP

— B0aty (@B0aty) July 2, 2020

This Reckful news doesn’t even feel real. I didn’t know him well, but I had a good friendly interaction with him and it’s sad to know he’s gone.

None of it feels real.

But it is. I haven’t ever felt this much sadness and anger at the gaming community all at once like this.

— Joshua Wittenkeller (@TheJWittz) 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

If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.

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