You're forgetting the Elo system put into PVP players. In this gear is also calculated. This ensures that fights will be on relatively equal footing for skill + gear of given teams. This means while your opponent may be slightly more geared than you, they are likely slightly less skilled than you, and in those cases generally skill will win out, but occasionally a piece of gear or two will make a fight easier than it should have been. So, the gear is used to further equalize the fight between the teams, creating a larger pool for a given rating. This ensures that you won't fight the same 2 teams over and over until you best them in one more win on average. So... statless pvp gear, stat pvp gear really doesn't matter in this system. The lower levels will be skill vs skill only, and the higher levels everyone will be equally geared, the middle will all generally be fair fights. The starting rating will have the greatest variance of players, but they will quickly diverge.