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Blizzard has paid tribute to popular World Of Warcraft streamer Byron 'Reckful' Bernstein by adding him into the MMORPG as a Rogue Trainer NPC in the Shadowlands expansion. Bernstein reportedly died by suicide early last month, at just 31 years old.
The Rogue Trainer, who has appropriately been named Reckful, is now permanently located at the Cathedral of Light - the very spot where players gathered to mourn the news of his death.
According to World of Warcraft website Wowhead, players that choose to interact with the Reckful NPC will even discover a nod to Bernstein's tremendous history with the game. "I don't train Assassination Rogues," Reckful's NPC will say, in a sweet reference to Bernstein's skill in Wrath of the Lich King.
Bernstein was actually permanently banned from World Of Warcraft in 2014 for account sharing, but that did little to dent his legacy as one of the game's most famous, popular, and genuinely likable players. He was the highest-ranked PvPer for an incredible six consecutive seasons in 2009, and emerged victorious in a number of prominent tournaments.
News of the streamer's death hit the World Of Warcraft community hard, with thousands of players flooding into the game across various servers to pay tributes in their own way. Most servers saw players gathering at Stormwind Cathedral. Others chose to pay a visit to Byron Burnside, the NPC tribute to Bernstein that was introduced in the Battle For Azeroth update several years ago.
The WoW community is coming together across many servers to hold in-game memorials for Reckful and mourn the loss of a legend:https://t.co/bNtZRh1Q5k pic.twitter.com/xBp1jIPW97
- Wowhead (@Wowhead) July 2, 2020
Bernstein's ex-partner was the one to confirm that he had died by suicide. The streamer often used his platform to promote mental health awareness, and regularly spoke openly about his struggle with bipolar disorder and depression. Hopefully this new NPC will serve as a lasting reminder of what he stood for, and inspire those who are going through their own struggles to speak up and find help.
"This isn't a 'F*ck 2020' moment," Twitch's head of creator development wrote on Twitter in response to the news at the time. "This is a 'we need to pay attention to mental health' and 'we need better resources in the gaming/streaming community' moment. Yes 2020 SUCKS, but that's even more reason for us to recognize and combat the stigmas around mental health. RIP BYRON."
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