I have followed below magento instructions. I am using the the default nginx file provided by magento. Media and static files are accessible with and without pub folder. Example I am able to access example.com/pub/banner.jpg and example.com/banner.jpg
magento 2 sample nginx configuration has many locations declared incorrectly and is also very bloated with useless variables.
I wonder why this file has more than 42 contributors, and it's so bad. it feels like everyone just copy-pasted everything they found on google into this file.
this is why you have to use default apache+htaccess setup, if you are not going to maintain nginx config. less issues you will have.