Dreamboatjetzalso imo even if people are in their prime i still think a lot of the oldest players are overpriced
That debate is always present in sports though with stuff like this. Happens a lot in hockey for example, "Wayne Gretzky literally holds most NHL scoring records, but would he be as good with players being in better shape and goalies being better"
My opinion is that the players adapted to the meta they faced at the time. While the time they were in their prime is a different meta than now, there's no reason to think that the players in their primes wouldn't be able to adapt and see a similarly high peak. I honestly think Platinum on demo in his prime would be just as effective in 2021 as he was when he was actually in his prime.
this is especially true when you consider the fact that tf2 has had such a small influx of talent over its lifespan (no offense). over a decade ago platinum was primarily losing and sometimes winning vs b4nny in the exact same fashion the players today are. you have an obvious litmus test in b4nny, he's been at the top of the game (at least individually) for over a decade now. it's much harder to judge, for example, michael jordan and lebron james as they played in completely different eras with different refereeing, less emphasis on analytics, etc. tf2 has been essentially the same for over a decade, with a few changes that have definitely impacted the minutiae of the game the game, but not enough holistically to where I'd come back into an invite team and be completely lost. you'd have to think that b4nny had a way higher ceiling than any of his contemporaries (who honestly beat him wayyy more often than anyone does today) to think they players like plat would've completely fallen off 7-8 years later