I've seen people say before that the pros of today's game are worse than the pros of the old days. (http://articles.alterealitygames.com/yu-gi-oh-state-of-the-game-by-samuel-pedigo/) The phrase "the old days" can be used very loosely, but personally I'm talking about the game's beginning up until the release of Synchro Monsters. I don't think it's smart to regard pros from these days as instantly being better than pros from modern times, and here are a couple of somewhat obvious reasons why.
1. Every player knows the strength of the element of surprise. To be clear, what I mean is that it's very difficult if not impossible to both create and adhere to a complete and effective strategy against something you're seeing for the first time while in the middle of a game against it. The years since 2008 have seen an incredible expansion of the number of viable decks and strategies in the game, making it easier to be susceptible to something you're not intimately familiar with. These kinds of things make it harder to top or win events consistently, because at the end of the day it only makes sense to prepare for the most immediate, well-known, and well-expected threats for any given event. It would be impossible to prepare a gameplan for every possible opposing strategy.
2. Secondly, as time goes by, the playerbase of the game is becoming increasingly competitive. In order to win, duelists seek inspiration from the highest class of tournaments and players, gradually increasing their skill level. In turn, to compete with their newly-skilled friends and rivals, even more duelists challenge themselves to learn and grow. This has snowballed over time into a playerbase that is increasingly influenced and benefited by competitive play. Gone are the days where 95% of the playerbase simply played the game because it was on TV.
3. Lastly, I'm not sure why this doesn't occur to people, but Yugioh in 2013 was WAY more complicated than Yugioh in 2007. Goat Format may have been a pinnacle of challenge, but the majority of formats occurring throughout antiquity were much simpler than any of the formats we've had recently. The game has evolved massively beyond plays like setting your Heavy Storm for a quick +1 or holding your Graceful Charity in the hopes of drawing into or searching a Sinister Serpent.
Anyways, that's my take on why "old pros" aren't automatically better than "new pros." Hope you enjoyed, and thanks for reading!