Bernstein died at his home in Austin, Texas, on Thursday following of string of posts about his mental health on Twitter. His brother, Gary Bernstein, suggested that he died by suicide.
Byron Bernstein was once ranked No. 1 in World of Warcraft and had amassed a large following of fans who watched him play games through the Twitch streaming service.
He was a lively personality who would touch on many topics during his streams. He also openly discussed his struggles with mental health, including bipolar disorder and depression.
Twitch and World of Warcraft mourned his passing in statements posted to their official Twitter accounts on Thursday.
“He was a streaming pioneer and helped propel the whole industry forward,” Twitch wrote in its statement. “The communities he cultivated in the games he played were forever changed by his relentless pursuit of excellence.”
Twitch also acknowledged Bernstein’s battle with mental health in its statement.
“We have to recognize that the stigma around mental health and treatment often prevents people from seeking and getting the help they need,” Twitch said.
World of Warcraft extended its condolences to Bernstein’s friends and family.
“The Warcraft team is greatly saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most memorable players of all time,” the game makers said in their statement.
Hundreds of Warcraft players logged on at once to honour Reckful with an in-game memorial on Thursday afternoon.
Stormwind Cathedral – Faerlina
— Quissy (@QuissyTV) July 2, 2020
Reckful/Byron memorials are now being held inside World of Warcraft across multiple servers and locations to pay respects to a WoW legend pic.twitter.com/Nb4FHfwAvM
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 2, 2020
Bernstein died on Thursday following a string of tweets that alarmed his followers. He appeared to propose to his ex-girlfriend, a gamer named Rebecca (Becca) Cho, before sending out a few more tweets about his mental health.
Cho mourned Bernstein’s passing in a blog post, describing him as an “amazing person.”
“We loved each other but it came with its difficulties,” she wrote. She added that she “didn’t see the proposal until it was too late.”
Fans and fellow streamers mourned his passing on Twitter, where many described him as a genuine person who helped them with their mental health by sharing his own experiences.
He wanted to make sure people weren't put through what he went through.
RIP Byron 'Reckful' Bernstein you will be missed ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZqL1pwuYHr
— SSG Stephen (@stephenhalphen) July 2, 2020
byron was the one person on this platform that i could emotionally relate too. following his struggles and hearing his thought processes helped me out so much in dealing with my own depression in the past.
he was someone that was real and to me that’s all it took.
— ᴀᴄᴇᴜ (@acesu) July 2, 2020
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.
— Bajheera (@BajheeraWoW) 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
Today we lost another streamer due to suicide 😢. As I said previously, streaming can get draining and really mess up someone’s mental state. Plz remember to be kind to one another and spread positivity in the world, you never know what someone is going through. So sad RIP Byron
— AnnoyingTV (@MarioHTXX) 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
Bernstein has previously said he lost a brother, Guy, to suicide.
“My baby brother, Byron @reckful is gone,” Gary Bernstein announced on Twitter on Thursday. “He left in a similar way as my older brother Guy. I’ve no siblings left.”
Bernstein built his eSports career on the back of a dominant period of time in World of Warcraft, in which he was ranked No. 1 in the game’s player-versus-player system for six consecutive seasons. He also won the Major League Gaming Warcraft tournament in Washington, D.C., in 2010 after several top-three finishes in the tournament the previous year.
Bernstein later built a following of nearly one million users on Twitch, where he would play various games for an audience of tens of thousands at a time.
He was working on a new, retro-style game called Everland at the time of his death.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.