“The Major” Thomas Harper was crowned by many as the heir apparent to the Star Wars Division before he had even played a match. One of the three rookies from the mythical Dragon Con trivia competition, Harper was the first Star Wars competitor to be drafted, taken before the current champion, Andrew “The Hunter” Dimalanta, and the current #1 Contender, “Lights Out” Laura Kelly.
And, to say that he has lived up to the hype, might be starting to become a bit of an understatement.
Harper (4-0) was perfect through all 5 rounds of the Star Wars Tournament Finals to beat Gold Leader (3-1) by a score of 44-42 and become the next in line for a shot at the title.
“I don’t know about hype. I don’t create any of that,” Harper said after the win. “I just come in here and answer Star Wars questions that PJ tortures us with.”
The Major certainly does not make it look like torture. He capitalized on a rare miss from Gold Leader midway through the first round to open up the game with an 11-9 lead that would go on to decide the match.
For the rest of the game, both competitors were perfect. With the lead, Harper chose to spin first but landed on Opponent’s Choice and was handed the category of Mixed Bag. That category might have offered some wiggle room to his opponent if it was for anyone but Harper, who remained perfect to score 8 PTS in the round. With no opportunity to close the gap, Gold Leader just aimed to keep pace with a perfect 8 PTS of his own in The Phantom Menace, setting the score at 21-19.
Rounds Three and Four played out as they usually do in the Star Wars Division. Both competitors bet 3 PTS and had a perfect speed round to hold the gap at 2 heading into the final round of play.
With one round remaining, Gold Leader’s chances for pulling out the come from behind victory were closing in quickly. He needed Harper to miss in Round Five, but that miss never came. The pair bounced back and forth on their final three questions before Harper delivered kudos to his opponent and won the match on his 5-pointer.
“Did we get your attention?” manager Kate Mulligan asked after the match. “Great. That’s him. That’s the guy that’s going to hold the Star Wars belt. Remember this day because I told you- I warned you. This is the guy that is holding the belt next.”
The match was Mulligan’s first experience in the five-round format after taking control of The Den at the start of last season. With the win, she earns the opportunity to compete in another one as Harper advances to challenge for the Star Wars Championship.
Additionally, The Major earned a much-needed 4 PTS for The Den following the win. He is currently their highest point earner with 13 of their 23 PTS for the year.
Thomas Harper now awaits the winner of either Andrew “The Hunter” Dimalanta or “Lights Out” Laura Kelly who face off for the Star Wars Championship at Collision on July 31. The Major has a lot of respect for both competitors.
“It doesn’t matter to me [who wins at Collision],” Harper said. “They are going to have a really tough battle. They’re both at the top of the heap for a reason: unparalleled work ethic, unparalleled focus, unparalleled knowledge, quite frankly. And either way, it is going to be a battle.”