Byron Bernstein, a.k.a Reckful, is a 29-year-old professional eSports player turned Twitch streamer. As of writing, he has about 799 thousand followers on Twitch and almost 105 million views across all of his videos. He has a slew of achievements under his belt, but he hasn’t been immune to controversy either – we’ll get to that later.
Unlike other streamers who really do this as their primary source of income, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Reckful. He doesn’t stream every day nor does he have a regular streaming schedule. As a matter of fact, it looks like he streams for about a week every month and then probably focuses on the million other things that he’s working on outside of streaming. That hasn’t lost him a fanbase though – he’s actually managed to gain about 5,000 followers over the past three months despite the long gaps between streams.
Achievements in the Gaming World
Like we mentioned earlier, Reckful has achieved a lot on the gaming world, particularly with World of Warcraft. For six successive seasons (seasons 4 through 9), he achieved Rank 1 and was the first in the world to achieve a 3000 rating (season 6). He also managed to reach a 3000 or above rating in season 8, 9 and 10. In 2010, he won First Place at the Major League Gaming’s WoW tournament in Washington DC. On top of all that, he has been voted Warcraft Movies Most Skilled Player. Obviously, all of his awards and achievements kind of just proves all that.
Reckful released a gaming movie entitled Reckful 3 back in 2013. It reached a million views within a week of its release and has since gained over 5 million views. The year after, he joined PC accessories company Feenix, where he worked as a developer, operations manager, and concept designer. This is also around the time he set up his YouTube channel with mostly personal vlogs. With 234 thousand subscribers (234,290 as of writing, to be exact), his videos get tens of thousands of views each, with some going up to 300 thousand and a few reaching the millions.
While he continues to stream occasionally, he has also continued to dabble in other ventures – still related to gaming, of course. In June 2018, he started a podcast called “Tea Time with Byron” where he talks to personalities within the gaming communities. His guests so far include IRL streamer Ice Poseidon, League of Legends co-creator Marc Merrill, Starcraft player Destiny, and Overwatch
Bans and Challenges
Like fellow WoW player and Twitch streamer Sodapoppin, Reckful has been banned – or at least, almost banned – a few times. Back in December
Obviously, that’s very blatantly not allowed. Usually, Blizzard issues a warning to the user but Reckful claims that they didn’t do that with him. In any case, it’s been 4 years and he’s still banned. Both Reckful and a handful of his fans are calling for him to be unbanned since it’s been a long time, but there’s been no progress there so far, unfortunately.
In October 2018, Reckful once again stirred up some trouble while streaming. Talking about what he would do if viewers approached and harassed him in public, Reckful made some pretty outrageous statements. He said, “Y’know, someone’s gonna walk up to me, say whatever… Look, go the fuck away. I don’t care that you exist. I’ll kill your entire family. Get the fuck out of my fucking face. I will hire ten people to kill your entire family.” Yikes. He goes on to address users in his chat, saying he’d “look up your information, I’ll find everything about you, and I’ll kill your entire family. It’s cheap.” Both his viewers and other streamers in the call tried to diffuse the situation.
Surprisingly, he was not banned from Twitch for what he said though many called for it, citing inconsistencies in the way Twitch enforces its Terms of Service. You can watch the clip here:
Not long after that incident, he decides to call out his fellow streamers after getting frustrated with viewers in his chat. He said
Despite the controversial tirades, he seems to remain a pretty popular of the community. Maybe his contributions to the gaming world mean people are willing to look past some of the less-than-great things that he’s said.