July 2, 2020 was a sad day for gamers everywhere, as longtime streamer Byron Bernstein, better known as “Reckful,” died by suicide at age 31. As the community mourned the loss of a great player and an even greater person, Blizzard decided to pay tribute to the beloved player, adding an NPC Rogue Trainer to World of Warcraft: Shadowlands in his honor.
They have never done this for a player before.
“Good to see” tweeted fellow WoW streamer Asmongold, accompanied by a screenshot of the character within the game. Many other streamers, fans, gaming sites, and community members tweeted similar comments, and paid their respects to what some called their “idol.”
Reckful’s NPC can be found in the Cathedral of Light, which was the site of a massive in-game memorial held by players in Reckful’s memory. Thousands of players gathered here to honor their fallen hero.
And a hero he was.
Throughout his career, he achieved numerous milestones within WoW and its community, from becoming the first player to reach a 3000 rating to being the number one player six years in a row. He’s won WarcraftMovies top skill contest, a high community honor in which players themselves vote for their favorite player, and his Twitch stream would average 50,000 viewers. 50,000 people who are now mourning, and who were forever touched by Reckful’s contributions to the game.
Reckful was Jewish and Israeli American. In the Jewish religion, when someone passes it is customary for family members to sit Shiva, a seven day mourning process. While it is a time of grieving, it is also a time of embrace and acceptance of the comfort of others. It is also a time where individuals say the Mourner’s Kaddish, a memorial prayer said within 11 months of passing and every year on their Yahrzeit, the anniversary of their death in the Hebrew Calendar. That day is the 10 of Tamuz, 5780.
If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions, please don’t hesitate to get help. Call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.