‘Survivor’ Fans Are Arguing that Tyson Apostol Is Not an ‘Old School’ Player

Survivor: Winners at War is coming up on the ninth episode of the season, and the majority of the “old school” players are on the Edge of Extinction. However, in episode 8, Tyson Apostol fought his way back into the game by winning the return challenge.

Many fans rejoiced to see an “old school” player back in the game. However, some are arguing that he is not truly “old school.” 

Tyson Apostol
Tyson Apostol | Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

The ‘Survivor: Winners at War’ castaways voted out the ‘old school’ players back-to-back

Although Natalie Anderson — from the twenty-ninth season, Survivor: Blood vs. Water — was voted out first, the contestants started picking off the “old school” players next one-at-a-time until they were almost all gone.

Amber Mariano, Rob Mariano‘s husband and the winner from season eight — Survivor: All-Stars — went next. Danni Boatright was picked off after Amber. Danni won the title of Sole Survivor in the eleventh season: Survivor: Guatemala.

Many fans were outraged when the castaways sent Ethan Zohn — from the third season — to the Edge of Extinction. Next went Tyson Apostol, who we first met on Survivor: Tocantins — the eighth season. 

The old school players continued to be voted out, with Rob Mariano (season 22’s winner), Parvati Shallow (season 16’s winner), Sandra Diaz-Twine (seasons 7 and 20’s winner), and then Yul Kwon (season 13’s winner) heading to the Edge of Extinction in that devastating order.

One ‘Survivor’ fan began the debate that Tyson Apostol is not an ‘old school’ player

“Tyson isn’t an old school player,” one opinionated fan wrote on Reddit. “Change my mind.”

The debate stems from the fact that Tyson did not win Survivor until season 27, Blood Vs. Water. Denise Stapley, Sophie Clarke, and Kim Spradlin-Wolfe all won before Tyson; however, they are considered to be “new school” players. 

“It depends on if you go by the first season that they played or the season that they won,” wrote another fan.

The dividing factor fans believe is season 20, Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains. However, there is extensive debate over whether or not the castaway needed to only play the game before season 20 or win the game before 20 to determine if they are “new” or “old” school. 

“Rob won only two seasons after Heroes Vs. Villains, so it’s kind of shaky ground there,” added another Redditor. “Sophie won one season after Rob, and I’m not sure I’d class her as ‘new school.’ By the time Tyson won the game had definitely shifted.”

How does ‘Survivor’ determine whether a player is ‘new school’ or ‘old school’?

“I think classifications of winners can be divided depending on whether you consider the basis to be when they first played, when they won, or when they last played,” added another viewer. “Like, you could call Sandra an old school player because her winning seasons were old school, but she’s played in a new school season, and it’s not like she wouldn’t have had time to adapt the same way that Ethan and Danni couldn’t.”

Fans can continue the debate for days; however, the distinction only matters if you are playing the game. Tyson formed bonds with Rob, Amber, and others who he played with in the early seasons. So, it might not matter to them when he won the game, but that he is loyal to them. 

On the other hand, the “new school” players tend to group him with the “old school” since he has those strong bonds, thereby putting a threat on his back. The rest of the debate is over whether or not he is capable of playing the ever-changing game better than those “old school” players who won before season 20. 

As Survivor: Winners at War goes on, we will have to see how the distinction plays out to those castaways still in the game. Will they vote Tyson out sooner rather than later because they feel he is “old school?” We will find out when Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

Read more: ‘Survivor 40: Winners at War’: This Season is Breaking Hearts — Who Was Sent to the Edge of Extinction During Episode 4 and Who Was Behind the Blindside?