Media Exchange Group’s Lex Alexander on the opportunities for brands in esports

As we get closer to Discover: Esports we’re getting more and more excited to see esports professionals from far and wide share their knowledge and wisdom this November 29-30.

Today we sit down with Lex Alexander, Head of Global Business Development & Strategy at Media Exchange Group. Lex uses his breadth of experience across a variety of new media, in particular working with influencers and esports teams to deliver well balanced campaigns for clients. Lex has a real passion for gaming… even if he isn’t very good at it.

So let’s dive in…

Tell us a bit about your company

MEG initially was started by David Fenlon to simplify the advertising journey for brands in new & emerging media. This quickly evolved after a number of media owners and brands expressed frustration at the lack of a fit for purpose technology to see and bid on all media options. From this we created the first pre-programmatic biddable marketplace to link brands, agencies and media owners.

The idea is simple, we create tech that makes it easy to see the options on the market and place a bid on them, in an open and transparent manner. This typically saves months of time, cost and resources. Most importantly there is a place for new media (e.g. Influencers/Streamers, Esports and Podcast) to be searched and reliably secured.

What does your role entail?

As head of business development & strategy my role involves reaching out to a number of brands and media owners to understand their view of the market. Work out key challenges and wants and ultimately find partnerships that match ambitions and objectives. Lots of early mornings and late nights (and lots of drinks… I’m sure a few people at this event can attest to this haha). It’s my role to grow the business and make sure we are making revenue as well as helping others to flourish.

Why should companies, brands and individuals be interested in the esports industry as a business proposition?

The market shifts and evolves every year, with the next generation communicating differently and engaging with each other via more digital means, Esports has offered an outlet for expression and a safe haven for this generation. Combine this with Millennials and GenZ being savvy about ad blocking, and esports one of the few opportunities left for brands to meaningfully engage with audiences of these generations. For the past 20 years (arguably) the Esports space has grown and flourished with major partnerships helping both the space and brands to grow.

With huge publishers and smaller game studios both offering gripping narratives and game titles for everybody to enjoy, brands should (and may are) aware that Esports offers an opportunity to engage with communities unlike any other, with greater visibility and clearer feedback routes. Not only this but with multiple platforms available for gaming e.g. PC, Console, Mobile. There is a route for everyone (for mobile gaming speak to Ringo Lung at Talon… what that man doesn’t know about mobile gaming and APAC isn’t worth knowing haha).

From Tekken to Trackmania, Pokemon to Dota… there is something out there for everyone, brands and consumers alike.

Why is it important for any prospective companies or individuals to gain an authentic understanding of the esports industry if they’re interested in getting involved?

Anyone can slap a badge on something and claim to be involved, but given the vocality of the gaming community, the people just trying to hijack the space will be weeded out quickly (just look at this year’s major events). With such different vibrant communities and obsessed fans (see CS:GO and Brazil) it’s important to understand what’s important to them.

Not only this but the teams and organisations in the space are their lifeblood and livelihoods, many people have given up well paid and stable jobs to follow their passion and nailed it. Most esports heroes are happy to talk you through the do’s and don’ts in the space and I have been lucky to speak to a few (special shoutouts to Abdi at Lionscreed, Sam Cooke at ESI, Mika at ENCE and Kelly Ong from Alliance amongst many others.)

Also I would like to take this moment to shout out the incredible levels of research and investment many gambling/gaming brands have made into the esports community. Without the investment a number of big teams and titles I don’t think would have got as far as they have. It’s a polarising industry but genuinely I have seen such passion and love for the sports from this industry and I feel they should get a little credit.

What makes you most excited for the future of the esports industry?

The Variety. There are so many successful avenues for Esports with legendary longstanding titles such as CS:GO, LoL, Dota2, Tekken & SF proving you don’t have to always reinvent the wheel and newer game titles forging the paths for the next generation of gamers e.g. Valorant, Fortnite, Rocket League and Naraka. There is no other sport that has such variety. Also I know it’s old news but Esports at the Olympics… c’mon how can you not be excited.

What’s your favourite competitive game?

This is a super hard question. If you asked me 18 months ago, without hesitation I would have said Tekken or most of the FGC titles (shoutout Strive) as the trash talking, head to heads and in person tournaments are the most adrenaline pumping exercises. After going to the Antwerp Major to watch CS:GO earlier in the year that took a huge leap up in my rankings… the atmosphere and the 20k+ fans do a great job of swaying the judgement haha. But as it sits I have to say Tekken… I fell in love with my partner all over again when she perfected me with Nina (at Namco station Waterloo R.I.P) so it will always be in my heart.

What are your top five favourite games of all time and why?

Oof big hitters. Ok so I am going to divide into two categories. Competitive and casual games:


  • Pokemon of most flavours. The sheer number of hours I have sunk into this franchise from where I first picked Charmander in Pallet town to Levelling Up Grookey in the Galar region. I have to say its one of my favourites.
  • Borderlands (Probably 1) – I LOVE childish humour. Borderlands not only had one of the advanced weapons generation systems (acid bazooka anyone?) but looked superb and had some of the dumbest one liners that made me cackle out loud.
  • Zelda Majorah’s Mask – Rewind time. Kamaro the spirit dancer and the creepy moon. To me one of the most advanced and complete games of the time.
  • Crash Bandicoot. Not going to explain or justify it. Listen to the theme music and tell me it doesn’t make you smile.
  • Runescape – When I was in secondary school, runescape was an absolute ritual for me. I would get home from school and go graft for a few hours, just a ridiculous online game which really introduced me to the world of online play.
    GTA & Time Crisis just missed the cut which pains me but you gave only 5.


  • Tekken – For all the reasons I said above and more.
  • CS:GO – Again cop out but I explained above.
  • Dota 2 – Less for the game (I am more than a noob) and more for the sheer amount of people it makes happy. I have met such incredible people because of dota and given how tough the community can be when playing it was a delicious surprise to meet so many legends (shoutout to Ivan – B8 , Ed Kim – NewMeta and of course Kelly Ong – Alliance).
  • COD – It’s basic but brilliant. Cod is such a good game to play competitively and you can lose so many hours on it. Many times I have sat and said “I’ll be on for an hour” only for the dawn to slap me in the face.
  • Guilty Gear: Strive – Such a beautiful looking game. Art style is epic, the characters all have their own unique traits and are so difficult to master (Zato-1 forever), the music is quality and no matter how many times I get beaten I want to go back to it every single time. Also a good friend of mine RetroAjax (Dre Wright) introduced me to the game when I was going through a tough time and spent the time to go through it, it’s a memory I cherish and will forever be grateful for. If you haven’t checked him out follow him on twitter… do it now…

Finally, what are your thoughts on the esports industry going forward? What major trends do you predict over the next 12 months?

I am hugely biased here as I love the FGC but I think the next 12 – 24 months for the FGC are going to be HUGE. SF6 is already being touted as the best FGC title yet from the demo. Tekken 8 rumoured to be released at the end of 2023 and the long-rumoured best/worst kept secret Project L fighting game from Riot that could be a game changer.

I am seeing a surge of interest in the Sim Racing space which is super cool, some superb folk there (big plug for Matthew Bintcliffe from Alpine) would love to see more Automotive brands getting involved in the space.
I also would imagine more brands creating tournaments/ in person events and building communities around certain titles over the next 12 months… it’s already started.

Hear from Lex and other leading esports figures this November 29-30 at Discover: Esports – book your ticket today.