Bernstein’s older brother, Gary Bernstein, confirmed the tragic news via Twitter on Thursday.
“My baby brother Byron @reckful is gone. RIP,” Gary wrote of the Austin, Texas-based gamer. “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.”
Bernstein’s ex-girlfriend — known in the online community as Blue Madrigal — also confirmed the news, tweeting on Thursday: “Yes, it’s him. He’s gone.” She also shared a video of the two together. According to Blue, Berstein died by suicide, Variety.com reported.
“Byron, I wish I could have helped you. We all do,” Blue tweeted in a separate post. “I’m so sorry I couldn’t. Thank you for being a part of my life. Love you always.”
She added: “Thank you to everyone who has reached out. I wish he could see how much he is loved and all of the sweet things people have said to honor his memory. Remember, your words/tweets affect people, even the famous people. Please be kind.”
According to Variety, Bernstein, who was best known for his “World of Warcraft” streams, had over 936,000 followers on Twitch and had also recently begun working as a developer on his own video game called, “Everland.” It was set to be released later this year, per the outlet.
Bernstein’s final tweets Thursday morning had fans responding with concern. “Ahh, I feel bad for anyone who has to deal with my insanity,” he said. “Please just know in these situations the insane person does not feel in control of their actions.”
Just hours before Bernstein’s death was reported, he appeared to propose to an ex-girlfriend on social media. “I know I’ll always be a little too crazy… and this is proof… but at least you’ll never be bored. Will you marry me, Becca?” he shared on Twitter with photos of his reported ex-significant other and urged his followers not to pressure her into saying yes.
“DO NOT make her feel pressured to say yes, i am completely insane here,” he continued. “I have not seen her in 6 months. The reason for the post is I know she’s the one I want forever, and I wanted her to know my commitment is real.”
Becca seemingly reacted to the marriage proposal in a lengthy Twitter post titled “RIP july 2, 2020.”
“I didnt see the proposal until it was too late but that doesnt change the fact that i wasnt able to be there for him,” she said in part.
Becca paid tribute to Bernstein, writing, “He was amazing. he taught me how to have fun, to experience more, and challenged me to try to be more than what i was. he was larger than life, too big for this world.”
She continued: “He brought me to realize that i knew NOTHING about depression, NOTHING about mental health issues. i had this vague idea of what it was and embarrassingly thought that i could help with trivial bull—-.”
Bernstein’s brother, Gary, responded, telling her: “I don’t know you but this isn’t your fault.”
In addition to the thousands of tributes that have poured in for Bernstein, Twitch, League of Legends and World of Warcraft’s social media accounts also issued their own condolences in the wake of the news.
“The Warcraft team is greatly saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most memorable WoW players of all time,” World of Warcraft’s note reads. “Rest in peace, Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein. We extend our sincerest condolences to Byron’s family, friends, and his many fans around the world.”
League of Legends’ statement said: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of streamer Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein. Along with the gaming community, we mourn his loss today and have his family, friends, and fans in our thoughts.”
Twitch called Bernstein a “streaming pioneer,” writing: “We’re devasted to hear of Byron’s passing. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and community.
“He was a streaming pioneer and helped propel the whole industry forward. The communities he cultivated in the games he played were forever changed by his relentless pursuit of excellence. Byron was someone who talked about his struggles to help make room for others to do the same. As we process this loss, we have to recognize that the stigma around mental health and treatment often prevents people from seeking and getting the help they need.
“If you’re struggling or know someone who is, there are many organizations and people who want to help,” the statement concluded.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).