It’s easy to feel unfairly beat by mangonel heavy comps, that much is well attested for. As to the elo distribution of the dislike for siege, I don’t really know. But i do know that most players control one big army and that’s mostly it, tactically and strategically. In a single head-on fight, the strategical slowness( As in map rotations rather than tactical micro) of an army is no issue - the strategical disadvantages of siege comps are mostly nullified because they can be everywhere at once when everywhere is restricted to the one and only main fight. We lose to siege, don’t notice the siege-player’s weaknesses and cut corners because our single-army control focus, and then attribute our losses entirelly to siege rather than also missed opportunities. This is especially true for non-top players, and will remain so for the forseeable future, marginally mitigated by skill inflation. An analogy could be sc2 terran splitpushing vs collossus comps, an impossibility unless you’re at least high diamond league, making collosus comps feel unbeatable lategame to most bio players.
With that said, siege may lack sufficient strategical-level counter play on choked maps. Once walls and static defence are down ( which is an achievement to a degree at higher levels where several parts of the map are contested at the same time) siege suffer less from their slowness, and counterplay suffers. For instance, I could imagine a modified sapper-Ram that can only take torch damage and only attack walls as a way to offer more counterplay, maybe with a movement speed increase when filled up, but this wouldn’t be widely used at the average level and wouldn’t affect the general dislike of siege dominant games; The general population is too low on multitasking to handle strong units balanced through speed reduction at the highest level of human play.
What’s then the solution? I don’t know. As in all RTS, specific army comps will always be disproportionately difficult to beat at different levels of play and it’s always a contentious issue. The majority of players play to have fun, their experience can’t be pushed aside, or the game will die. Pro’s are also an integral part to driving publicity, and setting an example to admire for others. We can’t ever make the main “Ranked” button feature things that the majority of players don’t enjoy playing. Nor can we something that an elitist would call a “lesser” “Ranked” button for average players to enjoy a game adapted to be more enjoyable to the average player, or can we? For all those that think that the game shouldn’t be made for the “top 0.1%”, perhaps it’s viable to hit a truce and have two radically differently balanced versions of the game. One for those that wish to enjoy the game as much as is possible at an average level of play, and one for those that predominantly care about pursuing the skillset of those at the peak?