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The Legacy of Byron ''Reckful'' Bernstein

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

Reckful was a Twitch streamer and a talented Esports player, especially in the early days of World of Warcraft. Achieving unimaginable heights because of his determination and skill. Besides being a pro esports player, reckful had a shining personality that brought a community together. Many of his fans are still devastated due to his tragic end, including me.

This article is for Byron and the ones who feel left behind. Reckful was an inspiration for many and still is to this day. This article is written from a personal perspective to give you the best idea of who Byron ''Reckful'' Bernstein was and the impact he left behind.


Who was Reckful?

Reckful was a Twitch streamer and a talented Esports player, especially in the early days of World of Warcraft. Accomplishing unimaginable heights because of his determination and skill.


He finished rank one for six seasons in succession. He was also the first player to reach 3000 ratings, with a total of 117 wins and 4 losses on his record. Reckful played in several tournaments and won the World of Warcraft tournament held by Major League Gaming in 2010.


In 2011, Reckful released a video called ''Reckful 3''. It reached one million views within a week. Later that year, Reckful won the WarcraftMovies top skilled contest for player of the year. This was only just the beginning of his career. In the following years, he decided to continue in the world of streaming. According to other streamers, viewers, and game developers, Reckful was the reason why Twitch grew to this enormous scale. He had a significant impact on the gaming and streaming industry.


Over the years, Reckful streamed World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Auto chess, Teamfight Tactics, and spend a lot of time in the ''Just chatting'' section on Twitch. Reckful was also known for his IRL streams, visiting and streaming places like Tokyo, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and London. In 2017, Bernstein was placed 4th in The Gazette Review's list of top ten richest streamers. Claiming to have a net worth of $1.5 million.


Bernstein started a podcast called "Tea Time with Byron" in May 2018 that highlights famous guests from the gaming and streaming industries.


Before his death, Bernstein was in the process of creating a social MMO called Everland, which he worked on with his close friend named Talbadar.


In August 2020, shortly after Reckful's passing, Blizzard and World of Warcraft paid tribute to Bernstein with an in-game trainer, named after his online alias Reckful. The character is located inside the Cathedral of Light.


Thousands of world of warcraft players gathered, moments after the news about Byron's passing.


Besides being a pro esports player, reckful had a shining and humble personality that brought the community together. For many, he became a close online friend since they could identify themselves with him on a personal level.


Who was Byron?

Byron Bernstein was Born in 1989 into a Jewish family. He had two older brothers named Guy and Gary. Guy committed suicide when Byron was six years old. He said that this traumatic event had a significant impact on his life. Due to this event, he struggled with depression and loneliness almost his entire life. Later on, Byron was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder(BPD).


When Byron was young, he loved playing video games with his brothers at the arcade. Because of Guy's passing, Byron couldn't share what he had accomplished in the gaming and streaming industry years after.


Byron had a stunning career with over a million followers on Twitch but still struggled with loneliness. Byron never accomplished to heal his wounds from his traumatic youth. He often spoke about just wanting to be happy on his streams.


How Reckful helped me

Reckful dared to show his weak side to the thousands of people watching him live. He talked about his mental health on stream and other social media platforms. Unfortunately, he got often ridiculed for it. It’s not a secret that streamers receive harassment, such as death threats and insults. The harassment towards Reckful was more than anyone else on the platform since he dared to speak about it. His mental health was often a target, and it continued to be until the end.


When I watched Reckful, I was also struggling with my mental health from traumatic events. Every day, Reckful's stream was something to look forward to. There are countless nights he helped me fall asleep peacefully by streaming. It did not matter if he was gaming, walking around town, or just chatting it was always more than just a stream.


Even though he struggled with depression, he was the strongest person I've ever seen. He always tried to bring the mood up and showed that he cared about the people around him.


Byron was the most kind-hearted person I could ever imagine. He did not care about your race, religion, net worth, and had followers or not. He saw everyone as equal and wanted to get to know you on a personal level. Gave everyone a chance and saw the beauty in everyone.


I'm just one of many he helped during his time. Words could never fully describe what he did for me and many others.


The death of Reckful

On July 2, 2020, Byron died by suicide at the age of 31.


Covid and the Texas heatwave hit around March, which isolated Byron. It reinforced his depression, as of why he became even more lonely and sad. It stopped friends from visiting him and made it near impossible for Byron to try and have a relationship. Due to Byron's BPD, he craved a close relationship which wasn't helping him in his situation.