Ha, me neither. Didn't help that he was a bunch taller and you guys were the only ones on stage. But that's the (crappy) luck of the draw. All you can do is focus on you.
For most people, unless they're pretty advanced, this is the way it is most of the time. If I offered $10,000 to the first person who either increased their bench 25 pounds or added 1 inch to their arms, which is going to win you the money first? There are more ways to get "stronger" - improved technique, neural efficiency, etc. Adding quality muscular size is simply about stimulating growth, providing nutrients, and waiting.
I don't think so. In your training time so far, you've built up a very solid strength level and dropped some fat along the way. So whatever you've been doing has clearly had some good results.
As Dr. Phil would say, "And how's that been working for you?" I'm guessing "bro splits" means bodypart splits, like just training 1-2 bodyparts a day? That can definitely be incorporated into a high frequency program that hits each bodypart 2-3 times a week. And progressive overload is standard issue for pretty much all training.
I think it's a matter of figuring out your exact priorities and then jumping on a plan to get you there. Nothing magic about that. If you're looking to add muscle, the classic method of "main lift like a powerlifter, accessory work like a bodybuilder" would be the simplest answer.