“Pause for effect… slick back hair… deliver catchphrase.”

Phil argued at first that Byron should win this fight, so that Best would later seek revenge against the group. Sure, Byron’s already savaged his ego by implying they’d’ve been better off without him, but wouldn’t it sting him still more to taste defeat? And Byron scoring a victory here would do something to redeem Byron’s reputation, which was already sliding after his getting sucker-punched by Frigg and Butterfly.

But it’d be less suspenseful for the group to have someone nursing a grudge against them if that someone was a loser whom one of them had already beaten. And we wanted it clear that Best does have the skills: it’s his personality that excludes him from the group.

Or, alternatively, Best could’ve hit Byron’s head with his blade in panel 1 here, which would’ve given Byron a fatal wound, triggered the berserker curse, killed ALL the tube-linked adventurers, and therefore resolved things rather conveniently for HR.