New World! Hi! We are Victon!
It was my 26th birthday, and I, unfortunately, had to go to work that day. The bus to the bookstore was pretty empty since we were currently in between our main semesters. I was listening to the few Victon songs I had on my daily playlist; songs I found through being a fan of Seungwoo’s in x1 and wanted to know more about the group he previously was in.
Hi, my name is Liz, and my ult K-pop group, Victon, has “unofficially” disbanded.
Following the disbandment of my first ult K-pop group, X1, I found comfort in Victon during a time when I was going through a lot not only in my K-pop life but in my personal life as well. I was in a transitional period of my life, discovering the things that felt like the most authentic version of myself and understanding myself in ways that I didn’t before now that I was alone. It wasn’t a slow liking to Victon; as a matter of fact, I believe they became my top group within the month I first started to look into them. I slowly collected their albums every time I got a paycheck from my job, and slowly became a K-pop collector; Victon to be exact.
Because I was now into collecting Victon’s albums and photocards, I made the next step to put myself out in the K-pop community. I made an account for solely my K-pop-related things since I was still in this mindset that I felt some level of shame in being so heavily into K-pop at my age. To my surprise, I joined a community that I belonged in; many of us are in different age ranges like the music genre that truly doesn’t have any age limit attached to it.
I met people that I was glad to call my closest friends at this point. Through our liking of Victon, I was able to connect with people in a way that I never would connect with due to distance. I made friends from across the country, in different states, and in different countries around the world. I made connections with people that I never thought I was able to connect with due to my social anxiety, so it was a bittersweet feeling to call some of my closest friends at the time my best friends, and for the first time I had best friends that shared some of the same interests as me.
Because of Victon, I was able to move into a chapter in my life that was well-needed after closing one months earlier. I was able to learn new things about people and the environment that consisted within the community. I was now in group chats with other collectors who were looking for other trades and sales to collect their biases in a specific group. I met my best friend at the time in one of those group chats. I heavily discussed the future of Victon and the members and everything that had to do with Victon with my friends in the community. I was even one of the top Seungsik collectors in the community at the height of Victon’s success in 2020 because of the friendships I had with people in the fandom. I am no stranger to being a part of a fandom, but this one felt different. This one felt like at the time, this was who I was. I was given the nickname “SikLiz” in a community that what felt like had 5,000 other Lizes in the community. I discovered a lot about myself because of how much I loved Victon, and it was something that I carried for the last three years being in this community of collectors and fans of a group that really was just a speck within the K-pop industry.
They were never a big group. They came as the second act in a company that had a successful 2nd-generation girl group. They came on the scene during a time when K-pop was still a domestic genre of music. BTS had just started to break ground in the United States, and any new groups that were getting attention were because of the fascination (and belief) that K-pop groups that debut through a survival show were guaranteed success. During Victon’s rookie days, groups like IOI and Wanna One were the popular groups, aside from other 3rd generation groups like TWICE, Red Velvet, EXO, etc. Because Victon came from a small agency, it was unlikely that the group would get the exposure they needed to stay together, and in 2018 the group was actually in the talks of disbandment. It wasn’t until Seungwoo and Byungchan took a chance on a K-pop survival show to gain exposure and a possible second chance. It wasn’t guaranteed, but they both took the chance, which then gave them exposure to the group they were originally a part of. Even with Seungwoo being in the debut project group, X1, Victon as a group was able to make a comeback the following months after the survival show and land their first-ever music show win in three years. In hindsight, Victon were the real winners of that survival show; they successfully were getting recognized for not only their talent but their indescribable chemistry with one another. Anyone who looked into the group could catch onto that quickly; they were more than just members of a group. They were brothers. Being some of the first trainees under the small agency, the boys truly went through everything together, so watching them interact with each other in their live streams and variety shows was almost like watching family. Even when all the odds were against them, they made it together.
That same philosophy applied to our fandom, ALICE. People all over the world respected and cared for each other just because they shared an interest in the group they like and wanted what was best for the boys as much as you did. Some ALICE became friends outside of the community, learning who we were as people and what we were outside of this community. I will always be grateful for the two friends I had in this community because of that. We all shared a love for a group that meant something different to all of us. We all discovered Victon during a time when it was easy to isolate due to the pandemic keeping everyone at home for months on end. We all found each other and confined in each other at one point in our lives. Even if things are not how they used to be, I will always cherish those two friends for being a part of a chapter that kickstarted a lot of what I am today and what I believe in. These friendships weren’t always the happiest and the greatest, but when they were good they were amazing, and they truly added something to my life that I didn’t have in a long time. Even after going our separate ways, I will always thank them for being a part of my life when they were, and that we all came together without even knowing it because of Victon.
Because of Victon, I was able to find and embrace my identity. I stopped being ashamed of liking a music genre that wasn’t common here in the US, especially for people who were in their mid-twenties like me. I was able to embrace things that I normally would nitpick and second guess because they weren’t “normal” and “typical”. I was able to find an appreciation for myself once I was able to firmly tell a new group of people who I was without feeling like I was living in someone else’s shadow. Because of my love for Victon, I was able to move forward on my journey of life, learning how to fearlessly enjoy the things that make me happy, reach out and challenge my social anxiety, and make memories with old friends that you never thought you’d ever meet because of the distance.
I am who I am today due to Victon being a big part of my life, and I will forever cherish this chapter in my life.
Victon, thank you for fighting through the obstacles these last six years and always showing up for ALICE when we needed comfort. Thank you for showing us what a chosen family looked like; many of us have chosen ours through the community because of the chosen family you seven made as Victon. We can only imagine the conversations that were had and the ups and downs that each member endured behind closed doors and in their dorm. We can only imagine how difficult it was to have these conversations about the future and how you wanted to enter your 30s and what you wanted to accomplish by the time it was time to do your mandatory military service. We can only imagine the sides of Victon you didn’t want us to see because as much as we wanted to protect you, you also wanted to protect ALICE.
Thank you for all the hard work you all did while being in Victon; even if you don’t think that you’ve made a difference in people’s lives. You did, even if you may never know each and every ALICE that you did help out in their time of need or at their darkest times. You guys have done an amazing job bringing together a community of people that possibly would have never known each other. Even if you are going your separate ways to pursue different dreams and walk on different paths, we will always follow you guys wherever you guys go! Acting, solo work, or even something outside of the limelight; ALICE will be cheering you on, I mean it’s in our name: Always We Love the Voice.
Thank you, Victon, for being such a major part of my life when you were. Victon fighting! ❤