When I hear the name Byron "Reckful" Bernstein, I immediately think of his fantastic Reckful video series, in which he presented the finest villain skills in PvP battles. Since I have been steering a dagger swing through Azeroth myself since Vanilla-WoW, his recordings were always a highlight for me.
How good Reckful was was shown by his arena successes in The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm. From season 4 to season 9, he was in 1st place in the 3vs3 area. He was the first player with a rating of 3000+. He was also one of the first really big WoW streamers on Twitch that paved the way for today's greats like Asmongold. In Hearthstone he also took part in esport tournaments in 2013. He later also tried poker competitions, his own podcast titled "Tea Time with Byron" and the development of an MMORPG called Everland.
Byron Bernstein was also someone who fought a constant struggle with himself. His eldest brother Guy committed suicide when Byron was a child. He later stated that he had one Bipolar disorder diagnosed and struggling with depression. He didn't make it a secret. Again and again he posted messages on Twitter that convey a small part of his soul life to the outside.
In his streams, he was sometimes very open about his illness. When his relationship with his then girlfriend Becca broke in 2018 and then his father was diagnosed with dementia and he remembered his family less and less, the concrete thought of suicide should have been in the room for the first time (via Gaming News Time).
Yesterday evening Byron then experienced a comparable low point. Via Twitter he asked Becca, with whom he was still good friends, but whom he hadn't seen in six months if she wanted to be his wife. A cry for help that actually only showed how alone the young man must have felt at that moment. In the following, innumerable comments pattered on Byron. Far too many of them, unfortunately, tasteless (and sometimes deleted in the meantime) and – if you know about Byron's illness – also dangerous. We learned how dangerous that was only a short time later.
After Reckful's last post "ahh, i feel bad for anyone who has to deal with my insanity" it fell silent. Until the news spread that Byron Bernstein committed suicide. The sad news was confirmed by various sources, including his roommate and the Esports insider Rod "Slasher" Breslau. Byron Bernstein was only 31 years old. And Becca … she only noticed the whole thing when it was already too late. On TwitLonger she said goodbye to Byron with warm words and sharply criticized the institutions that are supposed to help people like Byron, but which, according to her experience, would only make the situation worse.
WoW players pay Reckful their last respects
How much Reckful was still valued by many WoW players, has been proven by thousands of Azeroth heroes last night. Allianz and Horde fighters met on different servers to pay homage to Byron "Reckful" Bernstein in Stormwind Cathedral. The World of Warcraft team too (buy now for 14.17 €) and other well-known streamers like Asmongold have said goodbye to Reckful. Here are a few impressions (via Wowhead):
If you want to learn more about Byron "Reckful" Bernstein, we recommend the video "Twitch's First Big Streamer – The History of Reckful" by Slush:
Rest in Peace, Reckful!
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