Same thing with Titanfall 1 and 2. I know for a fact that console players went and beat the top kb+m players at a Titanfall 1 PC tournament with their controllers because it was an article with names and everything back when that game was in its prime. I was one of the top TF1 players on PC (Diamond V rank and 6 k/d vs pilots) using a controller and beat top kb+m players regularly. I do think it was always an advantage for Titanfall and now Halo since it’s been on PC. Not sure about COD because I always played it on xbox until I quit, but I could see it having the same advantage.
Granted for me learning kb+m would be hard because I have literally never done it my entire life and even my PC is an iMac Pro with a trackpad (not magic mouse). It’s been years since I used a mouse and I have wondered if I should try to learn it, but at the same time a lot of games incentivize me not to bother. I really think it would be like square one so I am just thankful that controller is still supported so well in modern shooters. That being said I would welcome decreased aim assist.
Halo 3 on PC actually had improved the aim assist by lowering it, and people literally complained that it wasn’t ‘fixed exactly like 360’. One of the few things 343i did right (and it was still definitely there to some extent), but 343 caved and made it noob friendly again. Keep in mind with increased FOV and frames it was arguably easier anyway to hit shots even before the “fix”. To be specific on console you could have shots register with a red redicule on the back side of the head. I liked the change to miss because it meant if a player was aiming at back of head it would miss as it should if they are moving away from it…and would hit if their head was moving towards that spot. Logical. but baby controller players wanted it to be like the 360 and always register a hit so now it’s stupid easy to land shot. MCC has a lot of problems like that where they shouldn’t because 343 mess up, but the one time they make a good change controller babies complain.
note to self: edit later, typing this on mobile, can’t see whole post at once to properly word
Apparently that ended in a tie and even then, that debate was never truly settled, as both sides had their advantages and disadvantages but the common theme was aim-assist being part of a crux to help gamepad users (as well as the difficulty of trying to turn 180 degrees and still land successful shots)
Personally I'm of the belief that aim-assist is a more of a handicap, due to the nature of stick shooting, but at the same time, a game that's designed for gamepad is naturally going to favour those over M+KB.
I was once great with gamepad shooters in the old days, but for years I've been just rolling with the mouse and I cannot really go back to stick shooters, because it feels so clunky to me, compared to mouse aiming (also being able to turn 180 degrees with a simple flick on the mouse feels a lot smoother and quicker than holding down on the right stick for a few seconds).
Even then those PC teams were just newbie teams. The console team was the best team in the world. They had better game knowledge, teamwork, and broken aim assist. They entered this small tournament thinking it would be easy. And they lost in the semifinals. I bet if they turned off aim assist they would have lost in the first round. A controller is terrible for aiming which is why they need aim assist. Aim assist on console is handicap just as you said. If people that use controllers truly feel they can beat keyboard and mouse players then they should have no problem turning off aim assist.