If you're going for a world record, always aim to be the first. If you're the best at something, you can be beaten. If you're the first, no-one can take that away. People may well get to the moon better than Neil Armstrong—quicker maybe, or while doing some wicked sick stunts—but no-one can get there before him. Similarly, now, no-one can reach Paragon level 1,000 in Diablo 3's Hardcore mode before Russian player Nokieka. He is the first.
A few sites have slightly misunderstood what Nokieka's achievement means. Paragon levels are account-wide per mode, and so are shared across all of Nokieka's Hardcore characters. Essentially, he didn't reach Paragon level 1,000 without dying. In fact, his Career page (opens in new tab) shows a few Fallen Heroes over the course of his Hardcore life.
Nonetheless, Nokieka is now top of the Hardcore leaderboard (opens in new tab), sitting on a Paragon score of 1,002, thanks to the boost from his Season 1 characters. In fact, he also tops the Season 1 leaderboard (opens in new tab), having reached a Hardcore Paragon level of 948.
Don't play Diablo 3? Paragon levels are accrued by max-level 70 characters, and offer Paragon Points that can be spent on a number of different categories. The difficulty is that each subsequent level requires more XP than the last. To reach 1,000, you need 10,311,327,480,000 XP. In other words, that's a lot of Diablo 3.
You can take a look at Nokieka's heroes here (opens in new tab). He has one called 'Shitty'. Below, you can see the moment Nokieka reached 1,000.
Thanks, Kotaku (opens in new tab).