It's hard to believe, as only on servers with pvp, the balance tends to be heavily tilted towards the horde throughout all regions. Blood elves are 1. "pretty" 2. Horde, in which you don't have to fight against racials. offer better racials in pvp over Draenei, their Alliance counterpart. People will of course play them. They were created to tilt the population towards horde.
In the modern world, racials have become not really relevant unless you're maxing for 0.5 percent. It was likely to be referring to the fact that alliance players find themselves constantly being cheated by legends (taking more losses than Horde, and other things).
The majority of the player base also horde since that's what the majority of the biggest raiding guilds are (unless you're oceanic, which oddly is the reverse).
Meta > Friends > Lore. You can make whatever excuse you want about the faction you pick, but the real reason is that players were following the meta, and one faction was better than the other in PvP. The game should have disabling racial skills for factions in PvP prior to the release of the game, the imbalance wouldn't have been as severe.
The game's launch was about PvE, with some other exceptions. In the case of PvE, the influence of racial abilities was smaller than that of Paladin/Shaman for 40 players. The focus of this game is Alliance. Everybody knows how to do PvE, and it's easy to do at home. A plethora of guides and videos that make them simple however the most important "challenge" today is PvP and in the smaller group game the difference between Paladin and Shaman isn't as significant, however the differences in racials are very noticeable...and this is why Horde is now the meta faction.
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