To get an edge in golf, athletes will buy the best clubs, best balls, best assistants, even best shirts to get an edge over their competitors.
Olympic swimmers will buy special suits that reduce drag.
NASCAR cars are a massive investment in buying the best gear and staff.
Baseball teams with the most money can afford the best players.
Relative to competition like shooters, Paintballers with their own guns and gear are going to have an edge over participants with supplied stock gear.
While it is obvious life itself is "pay to win" - purchasing enables you to get or do 'better' things- it is interesting we put videogames to a higher standard than professional sports in terms of fairness in competition.
It is okay to have "Pay To Win" in an old institution like professional golf, but not something as sacred as "Call of Duty" .
We could argue the gear in professional sports is just an 'edge', but not a game changer- a non-athletic person couldn’t pay to be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Michael Phelps. But you could also argue an inexperienced player in a competitive videogame is just going to lose a lot regardless of what gear they have. You need to know the layout of the map, which gear is best for what occasion, and general skill and strategy of every moment in the game to survive and thrive.
If the argument is that skill is itself not a big enough differentiator over better gear, than that just points to video games aren’t that good yet.