ICO is closed ecosystem. Best way for noob to be let into games is faking an account, otherwise you have 50-60% chance of being kicked. To do that log into ICO, start game vs AI and quit immediately. Then start anather game vs AI, ally yourself with it, start game and quit. Repeat until you get 10+ games. Aim at 30% win ratio. Cynical, but true. HF.
You are suggesting for noobs to fake their accounts and pretend they are more skilled while smurfs pretend that they are unskilled.
Well, it makes it easier for us smurfs
Anyways, to the Original Poster, think of ICO as like an exclusive club, it shouldn't be exclusive, but after many years of isolation, it has become that way, the people that play on it are usually very loyal to it and there are few noobs. Many players are skilled and are veterans of the triumphs and tribulations that come from playing on ICO. Expect litle mercy from pro players who will expect nothing but greatness out of you. If you can break through the first ten or so games of probably utter failure and get a grasp on the strategies of the game, you can become a mainstay of the ICO community if you so please. Remember, the best way to get better is play if you have the opportunity to, identify good players, and if you get your ass handed to you or if your team loses, or heck even if your team wins, watch the replay to identify any areas in which you could improve.
As for the questions in the post, I will explain some of the most basic things you need to do to when you join a "skilled game". First, unless otherwise explicitly stated by the host, go to team 10 and wait for 2 captains to emerge and begin picking teams. Beware of asking questions, because this immediately creates a cloud of suspicion over your head as people will either view you as a total noob, or a "smurf" trying to fake noobiness. Either way is not a good way to go. If you have any questions, post them on forums. If you are picked, go to that team, and green up. Try to listen to directions if the player giving them to you is named Auqia, or is in the clan [DT], or even [_].
As far as your question goes, "who are the pros, and how good are they?" you will just have to decide on that for yourself. There is not a published ladder, but as you continue to play games, you will see how you stack up among everyone else and this will usually effect where you are picked in the PUGs, or Pick-up-Games.
Hope this helps,