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Apex Legends: Everything We Know About Vantage

Battle royales have rapidly grown into one of the most popular genres in the video game industry. The premise of these games is usually pretty simple: A player and a few of their friends are dropped into an arena to compete in a winner-take-all death match. Games like "Fortnite" and "PUBG" would probably burn out pretty quickly if they were left in their original state forever, but studios keep these titles alive by consistently upgrading them with seasons of content that add new maps, skins, weapons and – most importantly – new playable characters.

For years, "Apex Legends" has been one of the most-played games in the genre. Respawn Entertainment has managed to put out 13 seasons of new content in just a few years, keeping controllers in the hands of players by changing up the game with each update and ensuring that it continues to be worth playing

Now, Season 14 is on its way and players are about to get a brand new Legend: Xiomara Contreras, a.k.a. Vantage. This character was accidentally leaked by Respawn ahead of schedule, but the studio decided to roll with it and now she has been officially announced. Here's everything we know about her so far.

Survival expert

The official "Apex Legends" website has posted a character profile that details how this 18-yea-old girl came to compete in the Apex Games. According to her profile, "Xiomara "Mara" Contreras — the youngest Legend yet — was born on the wild ice planet Págos, where she was raised alone by her survivalist mother, Xenia. Mara proved gifted with a sniper rifle from the moment she was big enough to look through the scope and reach the trigger at the same time." It also states that Xiomara memorized a scavenged copy of the Encyclopedia Outlandica, helping her to understand the world outside the frozen planet where she was raised.

The "Apex Legends" YouTube channel has launched two videos featuring Vantage. The first is called "Stories from the Outlands: Survive." It shows her sniping a small, bat-like creature out of the sky before discovering a buried ship. She returns to ask her mother about it, only for her mother to refuse to answer her questions about the mysterious craft. Her time spent being trained by her mother explains where she got her skills, but this other mystery seems to be the catalyst for her motivation to join the games.

Daughter of a prisoner

It turns out that the wreckage Xiomara uncovered was in fact the remains of a ship called the G.D.S. Vantage. Against her mother's wishes, she set out to explore the ship, where she found a small, albino bat trapped under the wing of a dead bat. She released the little creature and accidentally tripped a DNA sensor that mistook her for her mother. A hologram revealed that Xenia had been a prisoner with a life sentence before this ship crashed with her on board, meaning that she had been lying about being born and raised on Págos. 

At this point, the ship's automated systems then tried to restrain Xiomara, forcing her to defend herself with her rifle. Unfortunately, this caused the buried remains of the ship to collapse and tumble down into a ravine, leaving Xiomara trapped and gravely injured.

The bat she rescued, Echo, took Xiomara's whistle to Xenia, but she was unable to treat her daughter's injuries by herself. With no alternatives, she sent an emergency signal to the authorities, saving her daughter and condemning herself to prison. Before they were separated, Xenia reminded her daughter that she must survive without her.

A plan to clear her mother's name

The second video posted by the "Apex Legends" YouTube channel is the launch trailer for "Season 14: Hunted," and it explains what happened between the end of the last trailer and Xiomara's decision to enter the Apex Games. It begins with Xiomara, now known as Vantage, seemingly struggling to compete in the Apex Games. She is forced to rely on teammates Fuse and Horizon to defend her when she is almost taken out by Newcastle.

In a flashback, Xenia implores her daughter to stop visiting her in prison and to forget about her. shifts to a flashback of her visiting her mother in prison. Xenia implores her daughter to go home and forget about her, claiming that she will never be leaving the prison. It's still unclear what crimes Xenia has been convicted of, but she maintains her innocence, sadly saying, "all that matters here is what people believe."  Xenia talks her daughter out of breaking her out by force, which is when Xiomara notices a television broadcast of the Apex Games. 

This seems to be the moment when she decided to use the games to earn public favor and make her mother's innocence known to the public. Upon winning the game at the end of the trailer, she approaches the camera and proclaims, "I did this for my mom, Xenia Contreras. She was wrongfully imprisoned."

What kind of abilities will she have?

As her name and weapon both imply, Vantage is all about ranged combat. The "Apex Legends" website states the names of her three abilities, which are all based around those tactics: Her tactical is called Echo Relocation, her passive is called Sniper's Lens, and her ultimate is called Sniper's Mark. She can be seen using them in the trailer and they seem to match up with descriptions from the initial character leak.

Echo Relocation is a scouting and movement ability that seems to allow Vantage to launch Echo toward her enemies and then fly to the bat's location. Sniper's Lens appears to allow Vantage to gain tactical information about the enemy when either unarmed or looking through any long-range scope. This seems to also provide a hitbox featuring the name of the Legend and their current range in the trailer, although it may provide more information in game. Finally, her ultimate ability, Sniper's Mark, seems to grant Vantage a special rifle which scans enemies and gives her extra damage.

Much of how these moves actually work is left to fan speculation at this point, but more will be revealed when Chapter 14 launches on August 9.