WINNER‘s Seungyoon is widely considered one of the best leaders in K-Pop, dedicating most of his time and effort to the group.
To the surprise of many recent fans of WINNER, however, Seungyoon was not always the leader of WINNER.
Prior to their debut, it was actually Mino who was the one they looked to for leadership.
While filming the survival show WIN: Who Is Next, WINNER (Team A) was formed based on their older ages compared to iKON (Team B).
Taehyun and Seungyoon were the youngest in the group having been born in 1994, and Mino, Seunghoon, and Jinwoo were their hyungs.
Mino was made the leader right away, a task that usually went to the rappers of the groups under YG Entertainment such as with G-Dragon, CL, and B.I.
Mino took his job seriously, listening intently to Zico’s advice when he visited YG Entertainment.
I never thought I’d see the day you become leader. Once you think you’re the best, it’s all over.
Despite his dedication, Yang Hyunsuk decided to replace Mino’s position in episode seven of WIN, thinking him unable to lead the group due to the ankle injury he got by practicing for G-Dragon’s “Crooked” stage.
Oh no the leader is injured, what do we do? As an emergency, we’ll need a new leader.
– Yang Hyunsuk
He then promptly changed the leader to Seungyoon.
The new leader will be Kang Seungyoon.
– Yang Hyunsuk
Team A was taken aback by the sudden change in roles, with Mino being particularly upset.
It felt like I was falling apart. Just because of an injury, everything was falling apart.
After having time to calm down, Mino approached Seungyoon to give his blessing.
I’ll trust you. I’ll follow you whatever happens.
Seungyoon stayed as Team A’s leader even after Mino’s ankle healed, and until they won the show and became WINNER.
I felt sorry for Mino, but instead of consolation I gave him the direction we need to take.
Seungyoon has since proven himself a capable leader, and Mino holds no hard feelings towards him.
Appearing on SBS Power FM‘s ‘Park So Hyun’s Love Game radio show in early 2019, WINNER addressed this fact easily.
Many people don’t know, but Mino was once the leader of WINNER. We call him the initial leader.
Mino even joked around about what kind of leader he’d be today.
If I were the leader, I’d be different. If Kang Seungyoon was the leader of freedom, I’d be the leader of coercion.
INCLEs have fun remembering these old times.
i still think about the fact that mino used to be winner's leader until he got swapped w seungyoon
— 🎄뉸정이☃️ (@bokseungah) February 23, 2019
I want to remind you guys, this guy used to be the leader of team a aka winner. Give it up to song mino pic.twitter.com/8G2ow2ezxC
— 🖤 (@givencries) August 10, 2014
It seems that what’s meant to be is meant to be!