Ethics play a big part of trad climbing. I understand what they were saying in terms of it not having a first ascent as the ethics for traditional climbing are that you place your gear on lead. Its not sport climbing. Its like top roping a route that hasn’t been done before and claiming the first ascent, you just can’t. Its still an incredible ascent but the real first ascent of the route was when they did it placing the gear on lead.
* They weren’t pressured into doing something super dangerous. They chose the stripped down rack which increased the danger of the route.