The flipside of the coin: I'm an experienced player and I want to fight other experienced players. It gets extremely boring to just bash wave after wave of beginners.
Even if I for example label the game "2 vs 2 skilled", still tons of totally unskilled players join.
One particular problem is the general lack of players on ICO. Sometimes it takes ages to start a game. People join a game, see my stats and then leave. "No thanks, I stand no chance".
Unfortunately this leads to smurfing, which means deliberately creating new accounts in order to pose as a beginner. If some skilled players are unable to host a game for some amount of time because people do not want to fight them, they just make a new, fresh account with null stats. This makes them appear far less threatening, people join their games and once ingame they get totally humiliated after a few minutes by a huge fleet.
The reason is that it is not possible to distinguish a legitimate new player and a smurf, their player stats look exactly the same.
The result is that skilled players get bored and eventually leave the game due to lack of challenge, while new players on the other hand leave because they get run over every game.
My advice: Don't smurf if your skilled.
If you're a new player, don't fear the pros. It's like this in almost every game, as the new guy you are at the bottom of the food chain, that's just the way it is.
If you get defeated, try to find out what you did do wrong or did not do the best way possible. Watch the replays, try to understand and imitate what the skilled player is doing.
Last but not least, communicate! Most skilled players will eagerly tell you what you did do wrong after the game. You just need to ask them.