Today In Events: Blizzard Cancels Esports Event Amid Criticism, LinkedIn Launches Feature For People to Plan Networking Events, How Wedding Planners and Caterers Have Adjusted to California Blackouts

1. BLIZZARD CANCELS ESPORTS EVENT AMID CRITICISM: Video game company Activision Blizzard has canceled the New York esports launch event for the game Overwatch, as the company faces backlash for punishing a player for supporting protesters in Hong Kong. The event was slated to take place today in Nintendo’s Rockefeller Center store; Nintendo tweeted that Blizzard had canceled the launch. Bloomberg: “Blizzard, which didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, has been struggling to contain a backlash after it punished the gamer Chung Ng Wai, known as Blitzchung. The player wore a gas mask and chanted a pro-Hong Kong slogan in a post-tournament interview, leading Blizzard to ban him from events for a year and strip him of $10,000 in prize money. After an uproar from customers and U.S. lawmakers, who said Blizzard was kowtowing to China, the company reduced Blitzchung’s suspension to six months and restored his prize money.” 

2. LINKEDIN LAUNCHES FEATURE FOR PEOPLE TO PLAN NETWORKING EVENTS: LinkedIn has launched a feature called Events, which will allow people to announce and invite others to in-person networking events. The hub will launch on October 17 and appear as a menu item on LinkedIn’s website and app. TechCrunch: “Ajay Datta, the head of product for LinkedIn India (where the app was developed; more on that below), believes that there is a clear gap in the market for a feature like this, much like you could argue Facebook’s events feature has served a role in the out-of-work world to plan casual events. … You may recall a limited trial of the Events feature about a year ago in New York and San Francisco: the kinds of events that LinkedIn said were created with the pilot included meetups, training sessions, offsites, sales events, and happy hours, so expect to see these popping up in the live product, too.” 

3. HOW WEDDING PLANNERS AND CATERERS HAVE ADJUSTED TO CALIFORNIA BLACKOUTS: More than 800,000 people in 34 counties in California have been affected by rolling blackouts due to fires caused by wind, which is leading couples, wedding planners, and catering companies to make changes to ceremonies. Some weddings are using generators to power venues without electricity, while other planners have moved events to different venues while making last-minute decor and setup changes. The New York Times: “Sasha Souza, an event planner in Napa and Sonoma, staged a wedding, a winery event, and a rehearsal dinner last weekend. Her wedding client spent $30,000 moving the ceremony from a church, which had no power, to the winery, where the reception was held. … Sondra Bernstein is the owner of the Girl and the Fig, a popular restaurant and catering company in Sonoma that was working four weddings in four different locations last weekend. Without water or power in her catering kitchen, friends came to the rescue. One offered her a kitchen with a generator to make wedding cakes. Another lent her a refrigerated truck in which to prepare food.“