Can I use the debugger using a UART-TTL USB adapter for the ESP32 DEVKIT V1 board?

I am learning ESP32s and platformio through vscode, specifically stuck at the tutorial for “Get started with ESP-IDF and ESP32-DevKitC: debugging, unit testing, project analysis”. I am trying to go into debugging mode with breakpoints, etc

The board I am using is the: DOIT ESP32 DEVKIT V1

I have a UART-TTL USB Adapter with CH340G Converter at 3.3V and 5V

I have the pins connected so:
UART-USB jumper set to 3.3V

I realised in the pio’s board devkit page that it says

“DOIT ESP32 DEVKIT V1 does not have on-board debug probe and IS NOT READY for debugging.”

Does this mean I am forced to buy one of the external probes if I need to go into debug mode when programming this devkit board, or is there an alternative option to avoid spending money on a debugger? I was inspired specifically by this blog but I might have gotten the wrong idea of debugging in pio mixed up with this: ESP32: manage multiple Serial and logging for debugging – 3 – Renzo Mischianti

What that post describes is “printf debugging”, aka just logging. What PIO means with debugging is single-step debugging, aka JTAG debugging. You usually need a JTAG probe for that, like e.g. an Adafruit FT232H breakout board, an ESP-PROG, etc. See e.g. the article:

While it is technically possible to run a “GDB UART Stub” on the ESP32, which essentially runs the debugger probe logic on the ESP32 itself, making itself debugging to some degree, this is currently not supported by PlatformIO out of the box: