Depending on who you ask, seeing Sheila 'Pterodactlysftw' Weidman at a Magic the Gathering tournament is the first or last place you'd expect her to be.
Although Weidman's current game of choice is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, her roots in collectible card games goes back almost a decade, before she grew one of the largest Twitch streams on the platform and joined OpTic Gaming.
Over the weekend, alongside 63 other Magic: The Gather Arena players from around the world, Weidman put her skills to the test in the Mythic Invitational held at PAX East in Boston. Up for grabs was a $1 million prize pool.
"When I got invited to the event it was a super shock," said Weidman. "I was super honored. My 20-year-old-self playing Magic would never guess that I would be able to be involved in this so I'm super happy and grateful for the opportunity."
One may not have been able to guess that a full-time CSGO streamer would be invited to a Magic event but without the card game, she may have never made a name for herself in the gaming industry.
"I have been playing Magic for almost 10 years now," said Weidman after she was eliminated from the event on Saturday. "I don't think I would actually be where I am now if it wasn't for the people I met playing Magic. I would have never started playing Counter-Strike, which is my game now. I took a little bit of a break because I was focusing solely on Counter-Strike but, once they introduced Mythic Arena, it's all over."
What appeals to her, outside of the game itself, is the community that MTG carries along with it. Being around an older, more mature audience than those who tend to gravitate towards the FPS-genre is not only refreshing but helps Weidman grow as a competitor.
"It's a little different. It seems to be very laid back and very sweet. I mean, there's a lot more judging of my misplays because it is a lot easier to point out rather than a Counter-Strike or something."
"I think that people who take Magic seriously and enjoy it are definitely more nuanced in the games rather than Counter-Strike being a little bit of a younger crowd," said Weidman.
In her opening match of the event, she ran into former Hearthstone professional and long-time MTG player Jannes "Savjz" Mikkonen and dropped two of three games to fall to the loser's bracket. She didn't fare much better down there, being eliminated from the event soon after.
Weidman, a natural competitor, reflected on her in-game performance:
"Honestly, I was hoping to do a little bit better than I did. I expected to play a little bit better but the games were really fun and close so I can't really complain too much."
Time will tell what Weidman's future with the MTG series is but, for one weekend, the FPS and TCG genres intertwined and a long-time passion was reinvigorated.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.