I recently created a new account (this one), as I wanted to see how it would be climbing to diamond without completely ruining my mmr along the way. All that I've realised is that this game is actually no where near as popular as people claim it to be (at least in euw). I know similar posts like this have come along but only through playing normals have I realised the extent to which smurfs are scewing the popularity of this game.
Literally 8/10 players in every game I have played have been smurfs to one level or another, whether it be bronze, silver or diamond. Often times the low elo smurfs are so bad I do often think that they are new but then they do something notable which could only be done by someone who has previous knowledge of the game.
My point being that this game has been completely ruined for new players. Imagine you have no clue what you're doing and then every single game you play pvp is decided on which smurf is playing better, they have next to no if not a completely negative impact on the game for everyone else. I can only think how many new players have started an account only to quit thinking how toxic the community is and if they:
a) just think they're bad compared to the rest of the player base, when it was actually a bunch of gold players pub-stomping them
b)get flamed for actually being new to the game and just decide it's a terrible community to be part of
There is an argument floating around that because of mmr smurfs get placed with one another which might explain my experience. However, in every game I get 1/2/3 people who are evidently completely new to the game and didn't know what they were doing, hence making themselves completely irrelevant and they just have to wait every game to either get carried or get stomped in 25 minutes, neither of which is a fun experience.
Starting a new account has genuinely opened my eyes to how bad a situation this game is in, as fewer new players are not only not joining the League but shortly after joining they're blasted with a bunch of reasons to no longer play.