Let me give you additional context on the question.
I am a master student in Computer Science (hopefully graduating this year). I want to do a PhD later on (after working in the industry for a bit). I am currently writing a paper with an aspiring associate professor. He doesn't have a lot of heavily cited publications yet, but he is aspiring to go to more prestigious conferences and pushing himself. The university I go to doesn't rank high in the world ranking of the universities, but in my country it is one of the top universities.
My question is, then: If my advisor isn't a star scientist (yet) and if my university isn't some worldly famous one, can I still be a well-respected scientist, provided that my work is actually good? I guess that the broader question I am referring to is: Is there elitism in academia, or is it merit based?
Thank you in advance!