Byron Bernstein, known as “Reckful” on the streaming platform Twitch, died on Thursday, July 2, at the age of 31.
The Austin, Texas-based gamer’s brother Gary Bernstein announced his passing via Twitter. “My baby brother Byron @reckful is gone,” he wrote. “RIP. He left in a similar way as my older brother Guy. I’ve no siblings left.”
Byron’s ex-girlfriend Blue Madrigal also confirmed the news writing, “Yes, it’s him. He’s gone. I’ve been having a panic attack for an hour. I don’t know what to do. 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.”
Byron concerned fans early Thursday morning when he shared a series of troubling tweets. “Ahh, I feel bad for anyone who has to deal with my insanity,” he wrote. “Please just know in these situations the insane person does not feel in control of their actions.”
Hours before his passing, he proposed to Madrigal in a message that included photos of himself and his ex.
“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?” Byron wrote. “DO NOT make her feel pressured to say yes, I am completely insane here. 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.”
Madrigal responded to the proposal in a Twitter post titled, “RIP July 2, 2020” and stated that she didn’t see his message “until it was too late.”
“That doesn’t change the fact that I wasn’t able to be there for him,” she wrote. “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. 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 bulls–t.”
Byron was one of the highest-ranking “World of Warcraft” players and boasted more than 936,000 followers on Twitch, where he would share cooking and gaming broadcasts. He was working on a new game called “Everland” prior to his death.
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Scroll down to see celebrities’ and gamers’ tributes to Byron.