Game is unplayable with the amount of times it crashes during matchmaking

Step 1: Queue up for ladder matchmaking
Step 2: Wait 5 minutes to get a match with the supposed 1:30 estimate
Step 3: Get matched for a game
Step 4: Game completely crashes anywhere after 10 seconds into the matchmaking waiting for players to ready up
Step 5: Reload Game
Step 6: Repeat steps 1-5 after the ban period is lifted.

What is the solution? I have already reinstalled, verified game file integrity, drivers are up to date.

Hi @MrBen
Do you have any app that could interfere with the game? E.g: Nvidia, Discord or Steam overlays; MSI Afterburner or any third party antivirus…

Nvidia: I don’t have GeForce Experience installed and have no plans to install it. The only thing running in the background is NVDisplay.Container.exe
Discord: Never use while playing AoE, does not open on PC startup. last login was 2-3 months ago.
MSI Afterburner: Never used/installed (I have other utilities, but those are never running and do not open on startup)
Antivirus: Only windows defender, not using anything else

As far as other apps open - just firefox to browse youtube during the queue times or foobar2000 for music.