Back in the early days of ester synthetics, formulations based on 100% diesters caused excessive wear on rocker arm pivots used in the then Sequence V engine test. Studies showed that the wear occurred in the first two to ten hours of the engine test and then stopped, indicating the esters were interfering with the initial formation of the protective ZDDP film. The ZDDP won the competition and the wear ceased. I personally reviewed such data from Hatco at the time and this was also confirmed by Exxon.
Hatco manufactured over a million of gallons of 100% ester based motor oils sold under various third party brands in the 70s and 80s with very few complaints about wear. Most wear complaints were caused by excessive dirt (silicon) found in the used oil analyses, usually from excessive drain intervals. The lack of wear issues in the field further supported the theory that competition with ZDDP only occurred during break-in in certain engine designs and not after the ZDDP film was formed. The Sequence V engine was broken-in with the ester test oil, while field engines were switched over to ester based oils after mineral oil break-in.
In the Sequence III engine test which also measures wear, such interference with ZDDP during break-in was not observed, and in fact Hatco completely passed a double Sequence III with an all diester based oil. Likewise Hatco ran 25,000 mile drain interval fleet tests with all diester based formulations with no wear issues. These tests were all with flat tappet designs and I would expect no unusual cam or lifter wear with today's roller designs.
Yes these were old oil formulations in old engines, but they were also 100% based on some very high polarity di and triesters. Esters and ZDDP are still used today, sometimes with very high ester levels, without wear issues - witness Redline and Motul. In fact, Mobil 1 used esters in their formulations for nearly 20 years before switching to ANs.
So the notion that esters compete with additives and cause engine wear, which originated decades ago, is far too broad, simple, and misleading. I would not break-in a new engine with a high ester based oil, especially a flat tappet design, but have used high ester oils for decades in my engines with annual drains, including my own formulations with over 50% esters, with no wear issues.
There is some surface competition between esters and some rust and corrosion inhibitors, but this is overcome by the selection of appropriate additive/ester combinations. I would not just drop esters into a fully formulated engine oil, but any formulator worth his salt will select additives based on their compatibility with the selected base oils and confirm performance with exhaustive bench, engine, and fleet testing before releasing to the market.