I agree that matching based on skill would be preferable, but handicapping systems work when balanced correctly. They have been used successfully in all kinds of competitive activities where you are looking to match players of different abilities and still have a good game. It is not perfect just better than having a bunch of one sided matches and assuming a 50-50 win loss ratio overall means that pub play is ‘balanced’. Heck evolve uses a very crude handicap in Evac already.
The number of current players on PC would makes it hard to base pub matches on skill and that still doesn’t account for teamwork at all. Ranked matches will be nice for sure. An in game clan system would have been great as well. Elite masteries are an issue for competitive and higher level play, we’re talking about pub matches where a low skill medic or trapper can determine the outcome before you leave the drop ship.
Your examples seem to assume the match is close already, and that is not what the handicap is intended for. Look at a match where the monster just stages up to 3 without getting domed or taking any health damage against less experienced players, or a monster gets caught immediately and crushed at stage one. Those are not fun matches. It would be more like a weak monster player would get a damage reduction rather than stronger attacks, maybe shorter cool downs, etc. using the buff system already in place. The better side would likely still win, it would just be a more challenging match rather than a one sided rout. It would require play testing a tweaking to get right and is not a perfect solution, but I don’t think there are any perfect solutions.
If you are going to have PuGs in an asymmetrical game with a very harsh learning curve, a handicap system is a great way to prevent Pub stomping that discourages casual and new players rather than trying to balance the game mechanics for competitive and casual pick up play at the same time (an impossible task really).