From Apple’s docs on the TouchBar:
If you need access to function keys (F1 — F12), hold down the Function (fn) key at the bottom-left of your keyboard. Touch Bar changes to show the function keys for you to select, and then it returns to its previous state when you release the Function key.
For some apps, you can make the function keys display permanently in Touch Bar:
In System Preferences, choose Keyboard.
From the left sidebar, select Function Keys.
Click the “+” symbol, then navigate to the app and select it.
Now when you open or switch to this app, Touch Bar always displays the function keys.
So what did we learn?: You can set the esc key and function keys as permanent within whatever app you need to as a developer (like Terminal or a text editor).
I totally get that fake outrage and clickbait draws more attention to your blog or whatever, but don’t spread false information for it. There IS an esc key, you CAN set it to default, you DO have total control over it.