(FYI: I haven't followed the systemd saga but I have noticed this fight in a growing number of places)
This seems to be a VERY common problem in the modern computing environment: arguments are reduced to ad hominem labels of their supporters where the proponents of "new" are just "kids fascinated by the trendy at the expense of stability" or other "why maintain it when I can write something better?" inexperienced people and the proponents of "old" are just "out of touch old-timers who are afraid of the unknown" or people "only interested in their own job security".
Of course, the reality is some bits of these straw men, combined with massive doses of reality. The truth is, both sides of the argument make more sense if they are reduced to actual concerns and interests, as opposed to "us versus them" camps.
The truth is that "change for change sake" is a dangerous position and the reality is that the "legacy" moniker is slowly changing from a negative term into something which means "has worked well for a long time".
Alternatively, sometimes new ideas are beneficial since they tend to think of current realities, as opposed to sometimes-extinct realities.
This whole notion of "choosing your side" doesn't help anyone since it isn't actually a division, but a conversation/argument. Sometimes stepping forward is correct while sometimes standing still is correct and neither approach is "always correct". Maybe we would choose our next steps better if we worked together to choose them instead of all lining up in our preassigned trenches.