One might think Quidditch at Hogwarts is a pay-to-win sport. What with the Malfoy family snatching up the top of the line brooms for the entire Slytherin team, all but finalizing their victory in the school championship. But fans also know several talented flyers with red hair and hand-me-down equipment who've triumphed on the Quidditch pitch time and time again.
Quidditch Crash Course
In Quidditch, two teams face off with three goals at each end of the football-like aerial playing field. Each team consists of one Keeper, three Chasers, two Beaters, and one Seeker.
A Keeper is essentially the team's goalie. Tasked with guarding the team's three goals, the position requires some swift maneuvering. Agility aside, there's not a lot required of Keeper equipment. For blocking purposes a Keeper may want a set of durable shin guards or a helmet suited for repeated noggin deflections, but the size of a wizard's wallet isn't going to have much of an effect on their performance in this position.
Ron Weasley takes up this position later in the series. Ron proves a natural talent when he isn't thinking too hard. It is common knowledge that the Weasley family is financially burdened, so Ron wasn't given any favors starting out. Despite using hand-me-down equipment, Ron pulls off some incredible saves throughout his time as Gryffindor's Keeper.
Chasers move the quaffle (akin to a basketball) from one end of the Quidditch pitch to the other, each team trying to outmaneuver each other and score on the other team's goals, worth 10 points each. The Chaser position benefits from speedy, agile brooms able to execute hairpin maneuvers and break from the pack for a clear shot at the goals. But again, victory really comes down to talent.
Ginny Weasley became a star Chaser during her time at Hogwarts and proved a capable stand-in as Seeker during Harry's absence. After Hogwarts, she went on to play Quidditch professionally. Being the only daughter of Molly and Arthur's seven children, she was overprotected and had to sneak rides on her brothers' brooms. This means that she was pulling off her star maneuvers on standardized school brooms.
A Beater's job is to make sure the rest of the team "doesn't get bloodied up too badly." They fly around the pitch with wooden bats, redirecting enchanted cannonball-like bludgers away from their teammates and towards rival team members. Because of this, Beaters should be sure their bat isn't going to splinter upon contact and their brooms are fast enough to intercept bludgers hurdling full tilt towards a teammate. However, Fred and George Weasley are two of the most renowned Beaters at Hogwarts, saving teammates from countless bludgeonings with no more than outdated Clean-Sweeps and bats likely on loan from the school.
Each team has one Seeker whose sole job is to capture the elusive Golden Snitch. The Snitch is fast, able to change direction on a dime, and near impossible to see. This requires the Seeker to not only have cat-like reflexes, but also a broom that can keep up with the Snitch's sporadic movements. This is where to place the galleons if wealth is key. Capturing the Snitch will literally make or break the match as it counts for 150 points. This means a team can have a 14 goal lead and still lose if the other team's Seeker secures the Snitch.
Harry is a phenomenal natural talent, apparent from his first flying class. Using a school broom, Harry impressed Professor McGonagal so much that she offers him a position on the Gryffindor team, a privilege not typically open to first years. Harry goes on to pull off many incredible Snitch snatches for Gryffindor, despite impeccable odds.
Muggles Don't Understand
Harry Potter realization: Quidditch would never fly with today's gamers. Brooms are literally pay-to-win and no one seems to bat an eye. Unbelievable.
There will always be someone who gripes about not having the best of the best. Likely because they feel inferior athletically (Malfoy) and must rely on superior equipment. You don't see any Weasleys complaining about being stuck on a Clean-Sweep. Though they may fantasize about having shiny new gear, they still practice hard and outperform using subpar equipment.
A similar discussion is taking place on reddit, though there the pay-to-win aspect is considered more of a generalized sportsmanship flaw, not specific to Quidditch. For example, a baseball game may require the use of standardized bats to cut down on the wide-ranging equipment quality and make for more equal gameplay.
You Can't Pay-To-Win Talent
Saying Quidditch is pay-to-win would be to concede that all sports are essentially pay-to-win. Equipment imbalances are more akin to facing off against a gamer rival who could afford the top of the line PC and the accompanying hardware, while you are stuck with last year's model. The rival has a leg up, but it really only means they have to put less effort in. Perhaps they are relying on this while you have been accounting for your shortcomings and strategizing alternatives. In this case, you stand a good chance of victory.
This sort of privilege issue is different from that of a paywall. Superior Quidditch equipment might grant an edge, but it boils down to talent. Draco Malfoy on a superior broom, still couldn't outfly Harry Potter. Whereas equipment locked behind paywalls often offers direct boosts like crazy high Attack or Defense stats that would be otherwise unattainable by free-to-play methods. At the end of the day, skill is the ultimate decider.