I’m still learning the abandoned contest system, so cannot comment on which system is better. Based on what you wrote though, your alternation may benefit from a tweak, as AlwriteyThen suggests. If one Creative has more likes in the category (or loves) than anyone else with the same ranking, it would seem fairer to give them more of the split. And maybe there should be a cut-off, where only the top three get awarded.
I’ll use the 5 Creatives with likes, as an example. If one of those Creatives got two likes, and the rest got one, then the Creative with two likes, takes first and second place. Whoever was rated next as liked by the CH, gets third place. End of split. If the first Creative got 5 likes, then they could take first, second and third. In the case multiple Creatives get multiple likes, then it gets split 2 or 3 ways only, between those with the most likes.
The reason I suggest this, is incentive to submit better names. My names only got better, the more I took the top rating Creatives (box in the sidebar of the Contest), seriously. With limited places (3) you’re forced to up your game. I actually started withdrawing names I thought sucked, rather than labouring the CH with them - which made me submit even better names.
If any modification is going to be made, first, second and third place, is a traditional awarding system. It recognises the best, the runner up and the closest of those two places. Without those three limited spaces, there’s no incentive to get better. But that’s only if the system does change. As I said, I’m still learning about it.