Will said that Lindon would have won if he'd tried from the start.
Eithan would have won the tournament if he wanted to.
Lindon would have had the edge if he’d been trying from the start, but that’s not a guaranteed win.
If we’re ignoring plot concerns and going purely based on who I think would win if we just locked everybody in a room, then I think it’s Lindon against Yerin 60/40.
But that’s if it’s a surprise, as it was in canon.
With preparation, knowing who his opponent is, Lindon definitely beats her because he can practice against her better than she can practice against him.
He also most likely beats Mercy, IF there’s a fight in which she goes all-out before he faces her. If not, she has the edge because she knows what he’s capable of but the reverse isn’t true. And while he has Dross and guesswork, she has Charity, Fury, and Malice.
Lindon would have a hard time beating Sha Miara or Sophara in a tournament setting in time, preparation or not. He would have to advance to Overlord to beat Sha Miara, and against Sophara he’d need what he had in canon: an opportunity to see her fight a bunch of different opponents + time/resources to test his techniques and drain madra from a bunch of different opponents himself.
Eithan, as he said, had a chance of losing to Mercy, Sophara, or Sha Miara. When he beat her in nine seconds, that’s because he basically had to (which he alludes to in the book). If he misses the full combo, so to speak, she has a chance to come back and win.
He beats Lindon, just…straight-up. He’s better than Lindon, more powerful, most of Lindon’s unique advantages don’t work against him, and there’s no way Dross could simulate him accurately.
Yerin doesn’t realistically win against Eithan without pseudo-Herald (in which state she beats everybody), but she and Ruby wouldn’t be motivated to attain that level if her opponent was Eithan.
So anyway, TL;DR, probable winner is Eithan.
If you want to make money at the racetrack, you should bet on the favorite.
HOWEVER, that’s not guaranteed, even for him. Nobody has a 100% win rate no matter how good they are, and there are rules and restrictions in this game.
The problem with asking “who would win?” is that it ultimately comes down to the author’s interpretation and decisions. You’re really guessing what the author is going to do.
And, given that it is a story, Eithan was never going to win. Simply because the guy who’s better than everyone else easily breezing through and winning and saving the day isn’t a very interesting story.
Would the Underlord level Eithan (that faced Sha Miara) really beat Overlord juiced up Sophara as she was in the finals though? I suppose yes if he advanced to Overlord himself, but if he did advanced I would have assumed he wins the tournament 100% easily
Yeah, in that case he’d have to advance and would be favored to win.
Not 100%, though, because roided-out Sophara is so juiced up as to permanently damage her spirit. Which Eithan wouldn’t do, so she would have the advantage in raw stats.
But, you know, Eithan would still most likely win.