Apex Legends' new hero Octane is a tribute to a real-life Titanfall speedrunner

Octavio "Octane" Silva, the newest addition to the Apex Legends lineup, is a high-strung speedster with a freaky mask and no legs. He ended up in that condition, according to Apex Legends lore, by using a grenade to propel himself through a Pilot's Gauntlet in record-setting time. Worth it? Fortunately, his old pal Lifeline was able to hook him up with some bionic replacements, getting him back into the action with better moves than ever. 

Lore isn't a crucial part of Apex, but in this particular case it makes for a fantastic tie-in with a real-world event. On March 3—more than two weeks before Octane went live—a Titanfall 2 player who goes by the name of Cash Mayo demolished the Gauntlet speedrunning record by chucking a grenade as they came off the start line. More are thrown as they go, and while the subsequent explosions don't appear to have much impact, Mayo gets off to a screaming start and sails through the course at ludicrous speed. 

The final time on the run was 12 seconds flat, nearly a second-and-a-half off the previous mark of 13.4 seconds. That's a massive cut, given that previous reductions over the past year have been measured in milliseconds: 14.8 seconds, 14.6, 13.9, 13.6, and then 13.4.   

Respawn hasn't explicitly stated yet that Octane's lore was inspired by Cash Mayo's run, but at the very least the studio seems to have embraced it as a pleasant coincidence: The "What's the Gauntlet?" info pop-up in the "Meet Octane" trailer released yesterday links to Mayo's 12-second video. 

Obviously it takes more than two weeks to design, model, and implement a character like Octane, but even if the connection between the stimming speedster and Titanfall 2 was made late in the process, it's a nice community tribute to a pretty amazing speedrunning accomplishment. Mayo seems pretty happy about it, too: They said they were "seriously shook" when they discovered that EA had linked to the record-setting run.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.