Let me start off my long post here by stating that I have for a very long time felt that Old School killed Vintage, at least in my area. In 2015, we used to get 20 for Vintage at Extreme Games in Gurnee, IL - which is about an hour from Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI, and about an hour and a half from Madison, WI. And 20 was down from almost always hitting 30 or 40 back in 2009/2010. Unfortunately, @JACO is part of the Chicago Group, and during their weekly play sessions, they eventually realized they didn't want to drive an hour to play the same people in Vintage, and they just played at their Home Store. This eventually converted to just Old School. So, they killed vintage locally.
I'm wrong and I was an idiot to think that way. Old School caters to a significantly different segment of the population, that ties into what @nedleeds was saying about the player base. As we get married, have children, and have more intense careers, our free time is valued differently. I am skipping Eternal Weekend this year because I am going to be buying a house where I live in Madison, WI which is going to be a $250,000 commitment. I convinced my wife to allow me to go to one major travel-event this year, and that was SCG Con for me. However, while I enjoyed myself in that tournament, I find that I've started to really enjoy playing smaller magic events. Going to FNM and playing 4 rounds of modern, and then being home to my wife by 10:00 PM is great. Dedicating a full Saturday, or a full weekend even, to magic is not really feasible. IF I am going to dedicate that time, I want to make sure I enjoy the people I am with, and enjoy the game I am playing.
That's what Old School is. There's HUGE benefits to Old School, outside the nostalgia.
Pro's of Old School
- Extremely chill environment. Everyone is imbibing, laughing, talking about bad beats, and just hanging out.
- No pressure on 'winning'. You go into the event knowing you're not playing for EV.
- Chaos Orb flips. Seriously, have you ever flipped this card?
- Fun plays. Losing in Vintage on Turn 1 is like "seriously, what the fuck, nice "Mox Mox Mox Crypt Outcome Force Blue card hand, moron". Losing in Old School on Turn 1 is like "wow, that was sweet.". The most broken plays I encountered on Turn 1 are: Turn 1 Abyss. Turn 1 play a bunch of moxes and then Timetwister. Turn 1 Mind Twist for > 2. Turn 1 Serendib. And I have been turn 1 Fireball'ed for 20 ONCE in the times I've played.
- Overall, the games feel much more balanced. You get to play old cards that are extremely powerful, but many of those cards aren't blowouts, so the game feels more like Magic.
Cons of Old School
- There is no 'EV', so travelling to the event, you're not going to win money. (this is actually a pro, as you go with no expectations but to hang out and have a blast.)
And seriously, have you ever hung out with @Mith , @JACO , Ben Perry (The Librarian of Leng), @thepowernine , or any of the other guys at these events? Hell... the Chicago Lords of the Pit mostly HATE me, but they're a fucking blast for the most part. There's a dude I met from Tennessee that came to Madison in the winter for the Madison Offensive, and he was an awesome dude. There's a guy named Gus that moved to Madison recently, and is hugely interested in old school.
*** all this, and I haven't even mentioned the obvious that Vintage is somewhat a miserable format right now ***.