After numerous complaints from pro players, Valve have announced that the regular Thursday updates which land during a tournament will no longer be a thing. Instead, patches will be released at the end of the event. Check the official statement on twitter.
Considering that the average length of an event is about a week, we shouldn’t feel much of a difference between updates. Question is, how exactly will this work? The upcoming month is really intense when it comes to tournaments as there’s only a couple of days between them. Once EPICENTER XL ends on 6 May, next up will be GESC: Thailand, starting on 9 May. Then, just a two-day break before the MDL Changsha and so on, up until The International in August. So, patches will still be deployed before a competition. The other option would be to wait out until June and that’s most likely not happening.
Last year, patches were scarce and we had several events played on the same version of the game, that's not the case now though. Even though the new way will ruin some potential strategies, part of the game has always been adapting to changes. You could actually say the whole match revolves around it and pro players do that for a living. So, relying on a single approach to surprise your opponents isn’t a good idea in the current schedule of events.
In short, updates will still be coming regularly, but instead on Thursday, we should expect them right after a tournament is over.